Death toll from northern Turkey floods rises to 31
Flash floods which have swept through towns in the Turkish Black Sea region have killed 31 people, the country's emergency management agency said on Aug. 13, in the second natural disaster to strike Turkey this month.
The floods brought chaos to northern provinces just as authorities were declaring wildfires that raged through southern coastal regions for two weeks had been brought under control.
Twenty-nine people died as a result of the floods in the province of Kastamonu and another two people died in Sinop, the Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said.
Searches continued for a missing person in the province of Bartın.
The floods and the fires, which killed eight people and devastated tens of thousands of hectares of forest, struck in the same week that a U.N. panel said that global warming is dangerously close to spiraling out of control, and that extreme weather would become more severe.
More than 1,700 people were evacuated from affected areas, some with the help of helicopters and boats, AFAD said.
It said 112 villages in Kastamonu and 86 villages in Sinop have been left without electricity, adding that a fund of 20 million Turkish liras ($2.4 million) has been allocated for the region.
Over 895 workers in Bartın, 2,333 in Kastamonu, and 1,532 in Sinop are carrying out relief work in the affected areas, according to a previous AFAD statement.
Helicopters lowered coast guard personnel onto the roofs of buildings to rescue people who were stranded as flood water swept through the streets, footage shared by the Interior Ministry showed.
The deluge damaged power infrastructure, leaving about 330 villages without electricity. Five bridges had collapsed and many others were damaged, leading to road closures, AFAD added. Parts of the roads were also swept away.
Television footage showed the floods dragging dozens of cars and heaps of debris along the streets.