The lives of millions of people in Turkey and Syria changed forever on Monday when two consecutive earthquakes were sent hundreds of miles apart.
Monday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake and its hundreds of damages are historic in scale and will be difficult for the best-prepared government to handle. However, the Turkish government particularly criticizes it.
At the time of writing, the death toll from the earthquake is over 24,000, with many still missing and seriously injured. The World Health Organization put the number of people affected by the disaster at 23 million. At least 6,000 houses were destroyed, many with people inside them. Rescues are still the most important, with some 25,000 sent to Turkey and thousands more sent from abroad. But now the bitter storm is causing a threat to the survivors and those still under the rock.
US President Joe Biden called Erdogan to offer condolences and help to NATO allies. The White House said it sent search and recovery aid to support Turkey’s efforts.
Critical year for Turkey
This year will be the most important for Turkey when it comes to the May 14 presidential election. The result of the election – even if the current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is still in power or not – has enormous consequences for the population and economy of Turkey, its currency, and its democracy.
How are the Economy effects due to earthquakes?
Earthquake damage is still expected in the region, which accounts for 9.3 percent of Turkey’s gross domestic product (GDP). The Istanbul Electricity Information Agency (EPIAS) showed that electricity consumption in Turkey decreased by 11 percent on Monday compared to a week ago, showing the impact of the disruption.
That disruption could hit economic growth this year.
Three economists estimate that GDP growth could fall by 0.6-2 percentage points in the scenario. That regional production falls by 50%, which they say will take 6-12 months to recover.
8.5% of Turkey’s exports and 6.7% of Turkey’s exports were affected by the earthquake in the southeastern region. However, according to economists, the earthquake is unlikely to affect Turkey’s trade balance because both exports and imports will decrease.