A fire that engulfed hundreds of shipping containers at Turkey's Iskenderun Port, a major domestic hub for heavy industry, has been extinguished following massive earthquakes in the region, says the Turkish defence ministry.
However, it remains unclear as to when operations will resume at the port.
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.
Turkish shipping agency Tribeca said that some cargo areas of Limak port at the Iskenderun complex were still on fire.
The blaze led to the shutdown of all operations at the terminal until further notice and forced freight liners to divert vessels to other ports.
Global container shipping group AP Moller Maersk said there had been significant damage to logistics and transport infrastructure around the earthquake epicentre, including at the Port of Iskenderun.
It said it was looking to re-route ships as needed, given the 'severe structural damage, leading to a complete stop of all operations until further notice'.
Iskenderun hosts heavy industry such as steel and is one of the two major container hubs on Turkey's southeastern shores.
As Turkey has now declared a three-month state of emergency following the earthquakes, market players are now stressing the impacts on the country’s trading infrastructure, as trading routes have been redirected, and mills potentially damaged. According to a report by Steel Orbis, heavy machinery may be moved to residential areas rather than ports or mills to ‘speed up relief work.’
Source: Steel Orbis/Reuters