Torrential rain led to flooding in two Turkish provinces that were devastated by last month’s catastrophic earthquakes, killing at least 14 and increasing the misery for thousands who have been left homeless, officials said on Wednesday.
Rescue teams were still searching for five people reported missing in three locations, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said, after the flash floods turned streets in Adiyaman and Sanliurfa provinces into rivers, swept away cars, inundated homes and drenched campsites sheltering earthquake survivors.
Five Syrians were found dead inside a flooded basement apartment and two other people died inside a van that was trapped at an underpass. At least 12 were reported dead in Sanliurfa.
In Adiyaman, two people drowned after surging waters swept away a container home sheltering a family of earthquake survivors.
Television footage from Sanliurfa showed floodwaters surging along a street and sweeping away cars and debris.
Rescuers, using a rope, were seen lifting a man to safety from the inundated underpass.
Elsewhere, another person was pulled out of the floodwaters by people who dangled a twisted sheet from the window of a building.
“When I woke up, our houses were underwater,” Melek Yildirim told the state-run Anadolu Agency after being evacuated from an inundated street in Sanliurfa by boat.
“The situation is miserable.
“We've even forgotten about the earthquake. We've forgotten everything. Household goods, even cars were in the water. May God not allow us to live through this again.”
Floods kill 13 people in Turkey — video
Several people were evacuated from camps where earthquake survivors were sheltering in tents. Patients were also evacuated from the intensive care unit of a hospital in Sanliurfa, HaberTurk reported.
The raging waters caused part of a motorway in the region to collapse.
Turkey's disaster management agency said more than a dozen professional divers were involved in the rescue efforts in each of the two provinces.
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck parts of Turkey and Syria on February 6, killing more than 52,000 people — the vast majority in Turkey.
More than 200,000 buildings in Turkey either collapsed or were severely damaged.