The eastern province of Van marks the anniversary of an earthquake today that killed 604 people and wreaked havoc on thousands of buildings. Local authorities boasted that the city has almost entirely recovered in terms of infrastructure since the devastating quake on Oct. 23, 2011.
The province, shaken by the magnitude 7.2 tremor, has seen an overhaul of state subsidies that turned it into a modern city with little shadow of its former self.
Turkey was mobilized to dispatch the aid to the city and to rebuild it. In less than a month, new buildings were being constructed and despite freezing weather, tens of thousands of people worked around the clock. On the first anniversary of the earthquake, hundreds of housing units were ready for residents who were displaced by the quake.
Van Gov. Murat Zorluoğlu, says the city is "back on its feet" thanks to rebuilding efforts that required a great deal of investment.
"More than 30,000 buildings were constructed, from stables for animals to offices and residences," he told Anadolu Agency.
The government was well-prepared for the earthquake, which came 12 years after another quake shook western Turkey and killed thousands of people, and mobilized resources for rescue efforts within the first 20 minutes after the first tremor was felt.