Future quake could cause USD 120 bn damage in TURKEY

20 August 2015 —
A major earthquake that is likely to strike Istanbul within the next several decades is expected to cause USD 120 billion in damage, said insurance company Aksigorta's General Manager Ugur Gulen, speaking to the Hurriyet daily on Monday.

Monday marked the 16th anniversary of a disastrous earthquake that struck Istanbul's neighboring province of Kocaeli, shocking the region and resulting in heavy damage in disaster-prone districts of western İstanbul. Official figures placed the death toll at 17,000-18,000 and damages hit the USD 20 billion mark.

The earthquake that geologists and researchers believe is certain to take place in the coming decades in İstanbul is expected to cause much greater damage, only about a quarter of which is expected to be covered by insurance, Gulen said. Total losses would amount to 11-15 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

Currently, out of 17.6 million homes in Turkey, only 7.1 million are covered by mandatory earthquake insurance. Obtaining earthquake insurance through a public program has been required by law since 2012. A total of 5.3 million people have also taken out additional private insurance policies, Gulen said. In 1999, just half a million were insured against quakes. Read the full story Future quake could cause USD 120 bn damage in TURKEY
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