Floods hit northern Turkey with people hurt and missing

Floods hit the Black Sea coastal provinces of Bartin, Kastamonu, Sinop and Samsun

Heavy rains triggered severe floods and mudslides in northern Turkey on Wednesday, leaving at least two missing, others injured and cars swept away by torrents, officials said.

Helicopters were sent to rescue people stranded on roofs.

The floods hit the Black Sea coastal provinces of Bartin, Kastamonu, Sinop and Samsun.

Meanwhile, firefighters in south-west Turkey worked to extinguish a wildfire in Mugla province, an area popular with tourists, which runs along the Aegean Sea.

At least eight people and countless animals have died. Thousands of people had to flee more than 200 wildfires in Turkey since July 28.

The worst-hit flood area appeared to be in Kastamonu, where the town of Bozkurt was inundated and dozens of cars were swept away by raging waters.

The Kastamonu governor’s office denied reports that the flooding was caused by a nearby dam bursting.

“Within 10 minutes, everywhere was flooded,” restaurant owner Nuri Ersoz told Halk TV television.

Mr Ersoz said he feared for his cousin’s life because he believed she may have been trapped in her home.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties in Kastamonu.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who travelled to Kastamonu, said waters surged “three or four metres high” in some of the flood-hit areas and that many people were waiting to be rescued from roofs.

“Evacuations and search-and-rescue efforts are continuing,” Mr Soylu said. “The gendarmerie, the [army] are trying to deploy all of their helicopters to the region.”

In Bartin, the flash floods demolished several houses and at least two bridges, and caused the partial collapse of a road leading to the neighbouring province of Karabuk, Turkish news agency DHA reported.

At least 13 people were injured when part of a bridge caved in, the country’s emergency management agency said.

Emergency workers rescued at least 15 people trapped in their homes or vehicles, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

But they were searching for a woman, 80, in the village of Akorensokuler who was swept away by floodwaters after her house collapsed, the Interior Ministry said.

In the town of Ayancik, in Sinop, where a stream burst its banks and at least one house was demolished by gushing waters, helicopters lifted 19 residents to safety from rooftops.

The town’s hospital was evacuated, Anadolu reported.

The agency said a girl, 13, was missing in the nearby town of Inebolu, in Sinop.

Landslides meanwhile, caused the closure of a section of a road between Ayancik and the province’s main city, which is also called Sinop.

Many of the affected areas were left without power.

Turkey’s Black Sea region is frequently hit by deadly torrential rains and flash flooding.

Climate scientists say there is little doubt that climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving more extreme events, such as heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, floods and storms.

Such calamities are expected to happen more frequently on our warming planet.

Updated: August 11th 2021, 8:44 PM