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Two dead, one missing, 25 wounded as flood hits Turkish town

Doğan News Agency | 6/24/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Heavy rainfall across Turkey creates havoc after downpours cause at least one death and numerous injuries. (UPDATED)

Heavy rainfall across Turkey has caused havoc after a downpour hit the northwestern provinces Wednesday causing at least one death and numerous injuries. As the torrential rainfall recedes a further three people remain unaccounted for.

The body of Özgür Doğan was found on the coast of the district of Gebze after the waters receded at around 10 a.m. on Thursday in Turkey’s northwestern province of Kocaeli, according to a report by the Doğan news agency. Özgür Doğan, an inhabitant of the Çarıyova district, was in a car with his wife, Esin Doğan, when they were struck by flooding caused by the downpour. Esin Doğan is still missing, believed to have also drowned in the coastal waters and relatives have asked diving teams to start searching for them, as they think the pair might have been swept along violent currents out to sea.

According to Kocaeli’s Meteorological Directorate, the rainfall began at 10:15 p.m. on Wednesday. Along the Gebze-Bayramoğlu highway, more than 500 houses and workplaces, as well as some factories, remained under water as a result of the downpour and the mud brought with it in the districts of Gebze and Çayırova. The police were also notified that the flood had carried away two children.

A shepherd was also lethally struck by lightning as he was tending to his sheep in the Hilvan district in the southern border province of Şanlıurfa.

Nusrettin Yükkaldıran, 29, was married and had 5 children. He went out Thursday morning to put his sheep out to pasture in the mountains surrounding Hilvan’s Yukarı İncirli village. He was returning home after it started raining when the lightning bolt hit him.

Meanwhile, in the Kavak district in the northern coastal province of Samsun, 25 people were wounded after a bus tipped and rolled during the downpour. Flooding rains washed a dog into the middle of the road Thursday. The bus, which was heading from Istanbul to the northern province of Giresun, toppled as the driver turned the wheel hard when the dog appeared on the road immediately in front of the bus. The wounded people’s conditions are good, however the dog was killed in the accident.

The High Technology Institute, situated in the Istasyon neighborhood, remained under water as well, and the mud and water has not been extracted from the building yet. The institute, where 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students continue their studies, has also remained under waters during the floods caused by heavy rainfalls on June 8. 

Many houses and workplaces also remained under water in the district of Tuzla in Istanbul as a result of the downpours. Tens of vehicles remained stuck in the D-100 highway due to the floods caused by the heavy rains. The emergency teams assisted inhabitants’ own efforts to take water away from their homes in the late hours. The people who remained stuck on the highways were also brought out of the flood by the emergency teams.

Representatives of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s Center for Coordination of Emergencies, or AKOM, reported that 42 addresses had sent a notice that they remained flooded after the heavy rain, and that emergency teams had rescued 18 people who were stuck in their vehicles.

According to the website of the Turkish State Meteorological Service, or DMİ, the stormy weather, heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in most parts of Turkey will continue into next week.

The DMI warned that the downpours would become more intense in the eastern Marmara region, effecting Istanbul, Kocaeli, Sakarya, Yalova, Balıkesir, Bursa and Bilecik, the central and eastern Black Sea regions of Samsun, Ordu, Amasya, Tokat, Trabzon, Giresun, Gümüşhane and Bayburt and other provinces including Zonguldak, Bartın, Düzce, Sivas, Erzincan, Tunceli, Bingöl, Bitlis, Muş, Malatya, Elazığ, Şırnak, Batman and Şiirt.

The DMI said the inhabitants of Rize and Artvin should take extra precautions because their regions were expected to be the hardest hit.

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