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Hundreds of containers caught fire at the port of Iskenderun

Hundreds of containers caught fire at the port of Iskenderun




The death toll from the powerful earthquake that struck southern Turkey and Syria on February 6th has risen to more than 7,800. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 provinces affected by the earthquake. On the day of the powerful earthquake, cracks appeared in the terminal of the port of Iskenderun, a major port in southern Turkey, causing a large number of containers to tip over in the storage yard and causing a fire, forcing port operations to halt. Despite firefighting efforts, a fire broke out Monday night in the center of the container storage area and spread widely overnight. Hundreds of containers caught fire at the port of Iskenderun on Tuesday.


Turkish shipping agency Tribeca said on Tuesday that fires were still burning in some cargo areas of the port of Iskenderenlimak. The fire halted all operations at the terminal until further notice and forced cargo lines to divert ships to other ports.


As port firefighting efforts continue, the large container shipping company serving Iskenderen port has announced plans to move ships to other ports such as Mersin. Maersk said logistics and transport infrastructure near the epicentre had been severely damaged, including the port of Iskenderun. Given the severe structural damage that has caused all operations to cease completely until further notice, the company is seeking to divert the vessel as required. Maersk said in an update on Tuesday that it was not accepting any new bookings to or from Iskenderen at this time and was making contingency plans to divert to nearby ports and arrange additional feeder ships.


Hapag-Lloydalso said it was receiving cargo from Mersin port due to the closure of Iskenderun port. CMA issued a notice on February 7 saying that the port of Iskenderun had been affected by a strong earthquake and would be closed for a period of time, so it had to divert cargo to Mersin.


Operations were also halted at the giant oil terminal in Ceyhan, less than 100 miles from the epicenter. The terminal receives crude oil through pipelines from Iraq and Azerbaijan and loads it onto VLCS for export, typically handling about 1 million barrels a day. Oil pipelines run through the quake zone and while no damage has been found, they have been shut down as a precaution until inspections are completed.


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