A devastating earthquake hit Turkey and Syria on Monday, killing over five thousand people and damaging property and infrastructure. The initial 7.8 magnitude natural disaster was followed by aftershocks that also reached 7.7 on the Richter Scale in a one-two punch, the extent of which we have yet to learn.
“It was determined that docks at Iskenderun Port have collapsed,” said the Turkish maritime authority. The Mediterranean port saw stacks of containers collapse and catch fire, still burning at the time of this publication. Thick clouds of black smoke plumed into the sky from the port; the fire was initially blocked off from emergency services by the toppled containers surrounding the blaze.
While other ports are still operational, power outages and infrastructure damage could cause delays as structural integrity is assessed. Authorities have no definite timeline for the recovery, but today the Turkish government declared a three-month disaster state, expecting the Iskenderun cargo to be diverted to Port Said and Mersin.
With search and rescue operations still underway and a climbing death toll, many areas are still under evacuation orders as authorities try to clear out civilians in case of further disruptive aftershocks in already vulnerable areas. There will likely be several updates to this story as more news develops and more information is made available.
We at Coppersmith are proud to be part of a global business and community that can come together and react swiftly when there is a disaster. Our business ensures that shippers trying to get goods to places in crisis have a logistics partner to help them through the process. There will be many relief efforts as the weeks continue, and freight forwarders everywhere will be helping out when possible. We send our best to the people of Turkey and will update this post as more information comes along.