Housing construcion under way in Van, says minister

Tender bids for the construction of new residential buildings in Turkey’s quake-stricken province of Van are going to be launched before the end of damage assessment work, Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar said yesterday.

Tender bids for the construction of new residential buildings in Turkey’s quake-stricken province of Van are going to be launched before the end of damage assessment work, Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar said yesterday.

The bids for the construction of 3,000 buildings had already been completed in central Van and the district of Erciş, the epicenter of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Oct. 23 that killed over 600 and left thousands homeless.

“Their construction is underway. Our final damage assessment is continuing and set to

end in central Erciş today

[Monday],” Bayraktar said at a press meeting he hosted in the Van Provincial Disaster Coordination Center, adding that an entire month had lapsed since the initial temblor.

Damage assessment work had already been completed in 84 villages in the district of Erciş and 92 more in central Van, Bayraktar said.

“We [still] have 34 neighborhoods in central [Van], but we are going to start conducting damage assessment [there Tuesday] since the aftershocks are still continuing. The final figure is going to be far greater than what we had been guessing. We are surveying other districts as well, but we are ending our work in places that have seen truly heavy devastation,” he said.

Efforts were also underway to construct new homes in Edremit, the village of Kalecik and in vicinity of Mt. Elek and the highway, Bayraktar said, adding that the zoning plans and urban designs were going to be in line with the necessities of modern life.

The transfer of new prefabricated homes to Van province is still rapidly continuing, he added.

Some 21,500 such prefabricated homes are destined for Van in all, while only 3,000 of them have so far been delivered, he added.

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Van caused 600 deaths.

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