TURKEY

Istanbul assesses damage after earthquake: 473 buildings damaged, 14 schools closed for a day

Hours after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake jolted Istanbul, the city held an emergency meeting Friday on the National Disaster Response Plan (TAMP) after officials saw a gap in its disaster response activities.

Vice President Fuat Oktay, who will chair the talks at the Disaster and Emergency Management Center in Hasdal, spoke to reporters before the meeting and shared with the press the latest statistics regarding the damage in the aftermath of the strong tremor.

Oktay said all reports of damage and calls of distress had been examined, and necessary measures were taken.

"The number of reports of damaged buildings the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) has received is 473. Most of the damage on the buildings is minor with some cracks appearing on the walls. All of these damaged buildings will be examined and their respective owners will be informed of the outcome," he said. No serious damage to infrastructure occurred, he added.

AFAD earlier reported that a minaret of a mosque in Avcılar district had collapsed while two buildings in Sultangazi and Eyüp districts were significantly damaged. A house in Şirinevler district also tilted after the quake, prompting an evacuation of the building and surrounding areas.

Oktay also said that 55 schools had been reportedly damaged, and they had been checked by officials.

"14 schools will need a more thorough examination, and hence they have been closed for a day," he announced.

The vice president said 34 citizens had suffered injuries during the quake, but only 10 were still in hospital receiving treatment and the rest had been discharged.

"There has been 188 aftershocks after the earthquake, with the largest being a magnitude of 4.1," Oktay added.

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