BEIRUT: The World Bank said on Friday (Mar 3) that Syria sustained an estimated US$5.1 billion in damages in last month’s massive earthquake that struck southeast Turkey and northern parts of the war-torn country.
The quake killed at least 50,000 people, including about 6,000 in Syria, according to the United Nations. Tens of thousands are still missing and hundreds of thousands were left homeless.
In a report released Friday, the World Bank says the level of the damage in Syria is about 10 per centof the country’s gross domestic product.
Syria’s northern province of Aleppo was the most severely hit region, accounting for 45 per centof the total damages in Syria and amounting to about US$2.3 billion in damages. Also badly hit was the rebel-held region in the northwest, home to some 4.6 million people, many of them previously displaced by Syria’s war.
Aleppo was followed by the northwestern province of Idlib, with estimated damages of US$1.9 billion and Latakia, government-controlled territory on the coast, with US$549 million.
The earthquake has also compounded myriad other troubles in Syria, where the nearly 12-year civil war has killed nearly half a million people and displaced half the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.
The World Bank cautioned that there is still a significant degree of uncertainty around its preliminary assessment.
“The disaster will cause a decline in economic activity that will further weigh on Syria’s growth prospects,” said Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank head for the Middle East.
The damages assessed in the report include both in the residential and nonresidential sectors, such as direct damages to buildings and structures, as well as damage to cultural heritage sites, which is especially challenging to qualify.
In an earlier assessment report, the World Bank said on Monday that the damages in Turkey from last month’s earthquake are estimated at US$34.2 billion.