On August 17, 1999 an earthquake measuring 7. 4 on the Richter scale at 3: 00 am. devastated the Marmara region of Turkey. Over 15, 000 lives have been lost and there is extensive damage to Turkey's industrial heartland. As the region digs out of the rubble, it is clear that a major reconstruction effort and recovery plan is needed. International support for Turkey for the immediate relief effort has been rapid and generous. As Turkey looks ahead to rehabilitation and reconstruction, substantial international financing is needed. This preliminary assessment outlines the likely impact of the earthquake on the economy and the cost of reconstruction and recovery. It also highlights the key issues that need to be addressed to reduce the costs of future natural disasters in the country.