Loss adjusters are on standby following last week's earthquake in Izmit, Turkey which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, has left thousands dead and more injured.

Izmit is 80 miles south-east of Istanbul, but the strength of the earthquake has affected other major towns in the area, including Istanbul, Bursa, Eskisehir, Bolu and Golcuk.

So far, with many telephone lines down and the shock caused by the scale of fatalities, leading international loss adjusters are still unclear about how many claims there will be. It is also proving difficult to reach Izmit because of road damage.

Crawford-THG says it has received many calls from brokers following the earthquake. The company's account managers are already contacting clients to establish if they have an exposure and what assistance can be provided.

McLarens Toplis says that it has received a surprisingly low number of notifications, although this may be due to the impact the quake has had throughout Turkey. Structural damage is expected to be huge. The biggest potential claim will almost certainly be the oil refinery at Izmit where fires were burning out of control following the quake. Although early fears that the refinery might explode have receded, there have been estimates that it could be out of action for one year, costing around £1.1bn.

Cunningham Lindsey says it is gathering some information through Yeditepe but communication is proving difficult.