Earthquake paralyses Turkish ports

Turkey earthquake to disrupt logistics, container lines announce operation adjustments


On 6 February 2023, a first earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale, followed by at least two other major earthquakes, hit Türkiye and Syria causing widespread destruction of public and private infrastructure, hitting thousands of households and causing thousands of casualties.

Thousands of buildings have suffered serious damage, including schools and health care facilities and other public infrastructure such as roads, airport, ports, oil terminals, electricity lines, water provision and sewage. Several severe aftershocks were registered, causing additional fatalities and damage.

The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism was activated immediately. 20 EU Member States and Albania, Montenegro and Serbia have already offered 31 search and rescue teams and 5 medical teams via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The teams consist in total of over 1,500 rescuers and 100 search and rescue dogs.

The first earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale occurred on the border between Turkey and Syria, on the morning of 6 February leading many Turkish ports to face operational challenges.

Therefore, global container carriers are taking measures to deal with the operational difficulties in the region. Maersk and COSO have already published customer advisories to inform about the impact on their operations and services.

Given the situation at Iskenderun, Maersk said it will need to perform a change of destination for all bookings bound for the Turkish port or already on the water.

Moreover, COSCO SHIPPING Lines decided to suspend all bookings bound for the Port of Iskenderun until further notice with immediate effect. “We suggest a change of destination for all bookings bound for the port or already on the water and will try our best to achieve smooth direction,” said the Chinese shipping giant in its statement. Continue Reading on Container News.

CMA CGM informed that due to the earthquake, the port of Iskenderun in Turkey is impacted and lead to its closure for an undetermined period of time. Therefore CMA CGM is obliged to divert the cargo to Mersin.

Moreover, a fire engulfed hundreds of shipping containers at Turkey’s Iskenderun Port after the massive earthquakes in the region. It is not clear when operations would resume at the port.

Turkey’s maritime authority said on Monday that the port, located on the Mediterranean coast in the southern province of Hatay, was damaged due to the earthquake that struck Turkey and neighbouring Syria.

Drone footage showed fierce flames blackening hundreds of containers on the dock, with water jets from a fire truck dwarfed by the scale of the blaze that broke out on Monday. Thick black smoke billowed into the sky.

NATO Secretary General Mr. Jens Stoltenberg will visit Türkiye on 15-16 February 2023. He will meet with the President of the Republic of Türkiye, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Ankara, and visit areas affected by the devastating earthquakes of 6 February.

Also, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson, have today announced their intention to host a Donors’ Conference, in coordination with the Turkish authorities, to mobilise funds from the international community in support for the people of Türkiye and Syria following this week’s devastating earthquake. The event would be hosted in March in Brussels. Read about the event here.  

We are all shaken by the devastating effects of the earthquakes that have hit Türkiye and Syria this week. The priority now is to work around the clock to save as many lives as possible as many people are still trapped under the rubble, in buildings.” said President von der Leyen.

Annoucement from the MARPRO Group 

At MARPRO we wish to express our condolences to the Turkish and Syrian people. Condolences to the families of those who passed away and a speedy recovery to those who are injured. Our thoughts will remain with all the affected by the devastation from the earthquake.

Narjiss Ghajour

Editor-in-Chief of Maritime Professionals
Back to top button