Nine dead as flash floods hit northern Turkey, 900 evacuated

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Istanbul

The death toll from flash floods in northern Turkey has reached nine, according to local authorities, who said that more than 900 people have been evacuated as buildings, bridges and roads suffered severe damage.

On Thursday, the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said that they had been working around the clock to reach those in need in the flood-hit regions of northern Turkey.

In a statement, they highlighted the scale of their efforts, noting that both coastguard units and the Turkish Red Crescent were also involved.

In Kastamonu, AFAD stated that 777 personnel, 61 vehicles, 32 ambulances, and nine helicopters were among the units engaged in the relief efforts.

In footage shared online, a helicopter can be seen rescuing two stranded individuals from the roof of a building engulfed by raging floodwaters.

AFAD said that all relevant units were deployed to undertake evacuations, search and rescue missions, and other disaster response activities in the immediate aftermath.

The agency claimed that more than 900 people had been evacuated from the afflicted areas and that around 550 were being housed in student dormitories.

The directorate also announced that the death toll in Kastamonu, on Turkey’s Black Sea coast, had risen: “Nine of our citizens lost their lives in Kastamonu due to the flood. The search for one of our citizens who disappeared in Bartýn continues.”

Broadcaster TRT Haber earlier reported that one person had died of a heart attack, while another was missing after floods hit the neighboring provinces of Sinop and Bartin.

Other Turkish reports said that a regional hospital was treating 45 patients, four of whom were in intensive care.

They added that rescue workers were distributing food and supplies to evacuees holed-up in dormitories.

The devastating flash floods which tore through northern Turkey on Wednesday left more than 170 villages without power, destroyed four bridges and damaged other vital infrastructure, including roads.

In footage shared online and on television, cars can be seen among heaps of debris being carried away on the floodwaters.

It is expected that heavy rainfall will ease on Thursday, five days after it started. The region is no stranger to summer flooding; last year at least five were killed when flash floods swept through northern Turkey.—AP

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