On February 6, an earthquake destroyed approximately 1,200 buildings, killing over 3,400 people in south-eastern Turkey near the Syrian border. The earthquake caused a major fire and forced the cancellation of nearly all mass transportation.
According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, the fire has severely damaged Turkey’s Iskenderun Port. Nonetheless, the fire, which was caused by a powerful earthquake in the area, was successfully put out as reported on Tuesday.
However, it is unclear when port operations will resume. Indeed, the port was severely damaged, and it harmed the Mediterranean coast in the southern province of Hatay, affecting neighboring Syria. Drone footage revealed the extent of the fire, with hundreds of containers on the dock engulfed in flames and fire truck water jets appearing insignificant in comparison. A large amount of black smoke was also seen rising into the sky.
Tribeca, a Turkish shipping agency, reported that earlier in the day, some cargo areas of the Limak port in the Iskenderun complex were still on fire. Due to the fire, all activities at the terminal had to temporarily cease, forcing freight liners to divert ships to other ports. The Port of Iskenderun was among the logistics and transportation infrastructure that sustained significant damage, according to AP Moller Maersk, the largest container shipping company in the world. It declared that it was looking to reroute its ships as necessary because of the serious structural damage and complete halt of all operations.
German container shipping company Hapag Lloyd announced that it would start accepting shipments from Mersin in response to the closure of Iskenderun. The fire may have started in a container in which was containing flammable industrial oil. Other containers were also knocked over by the fire, making it challenging for rescuers to get to them. Authorities tried to put out the fire on Monday using boats, but access to the scene was made difficult by the earthquake damage.
Following inspections, the maritime authority declared on Monday that regular operations were still being carried out in ports other than Iskenderun.