Even as Turkey grapples with the human tragedies caused by Tuesday’s earthquake, the nation is also confronted with serious environmental problems produced by the quake. The primary concern is a fire at Turkey’s biggest oil refinery in Korfez, which contains 700,000 tons of oil and has been burning out of control. On Wednesday, tens of thousands of people fled the smoke-filled area. The fire is likely to burn itself out by Saturday, but by then it will have seriously polluted the nearby air, water, and land, and created potential health problems for those exposed to the smoke. The section of northwest Turkey affected by the earthquake contains about a third of the country’s industry, and there are reports of damage to other factories and pollution from them.

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