IZMIR, Turkey 

Turkey has started the construction of a “container city” — temporary housing units resembling shipping containers — for quake-hit people in the city of Izmir, the environment and urbanization minister said Monday.

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit Turkey’s third-largest city on Oct. 30. The death toll has reached 85, whereas rescue activities still continue.

“Our container city, right next to the wreckage area, will be completed with its infrastructure and social facilities within 20 days,” Murat Kurum said.

The temporary residences for 1,000 people will cover an area of 46,300 square meters in the Bayrakli district, he added.

“Currently, we have a clean and warm guesthouse facility to meet all kinds of food and shelter needs. The capacity is approximately 7,600.”

He said that as many as 3,500 tents have been sent to the quake-hit region, and nearly 2,000 of them have been set up for those whose homes have been destroyed.

About 7,600 people have taken shelter in the tents, the minister said, adding that at least 220,000 earthquake victims have been served meals with the coordination of the Turkish Red Crescent.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that his government is “determined to heal the wounds of our brothers and sisters in Izmir before the cold and rains begin,” and new homes will be built “as soon as possible.” Turkey is among the world’s most seismically active zones, and has suffered devastating earthquakes in the past as well.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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