Efforts continue in flood-hit areas as death toll rise to 64
Rescue teams in Turkey’s Black Sea provinces are continuing to search for survivors of the devastating flood disasters as officials say the death toll has increased to at least 64.
54 people were killed in the Kastamonu province, nine others in the Sinop province and another in the Bartın province, according to the latest figures announced by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).
Visiting the worst-hit Kastamonu’s Bozkurt district on Aug. 14 with Environment and Urban Planning Minister Murat Kurum and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said that locals reported 77 others as still missing.
He announced the number of persons unaccounted for is 62 in Bozkurt and 15 in Sinop, based on figures reported to the authorities by people searching for missing loved ones.
“We delivered 20 tons of food yesterday and today by helicopter alone,” Soylu said, adding that officials were trying to meet the needs of victims from funerals to damage assessment.
He also spoke about an AFAD aid campaign, informing that, so far, 47.6 million Turkish Liras ($5.5 million) have been collected.
He noted they would initially pay 3,000 liras ($351) to people evacuated from their houses and would provide more aid to people for food and furniture.
The minister said volunteers from the AFAD, military staff and crews from other public agencies were working to clear the debris and maintain aid flow to the affected people.
Thousands on ground
Some 918 workers in Bartın, 3,547 in Kastamonu, and 1,910 in Sinop are conducting relief work in the affected areas, according to AFAD.
The agency said that a total of 341 people in Bartın, 1,580 in Kastamonu, and 533 in Sinop were evacuated to safe areas by helicopters and boats.
Some locals in villages where they refused to leave are being provided humanitarian aid by helicopters.
Meanwhile, 223 volunteers, nine catering trucks, and 54 vehicles sent by the Turkish Red Crescent to the region are working on the ground.
Water and electricity are still cut off in some flood-hit areas, while crews set up mobile power supplies and delivered drinkable water to locals.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in Kastamonu have launched an investigation into the collapsed buildings.
A prosecutor’s office in Kastamonu’s İnebolu district, which is handling the investigation, announced that a detention warrant was issued for a contractor who carried out the construction of one of the collapsed buildings.