Severe flash floods in northern Turkey's kills seven people
The death toll caused by severe flash floods in northern Turkey’s Black Sea region rose to seven on Monday, officials said as the search for at least nine other missing people continues.
Helicopters circled over the town of Dereli and the surrounding area with a search and rescue mission underway.
The flooding, which started on Saturday, was caused by heavy rain which dragged away vehicles and debris. At least 17 buildings were destroyed and more than 360 have been damaged, according to officials.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who is overseeing the rescue operation, said one more body was recovered on Monday.
Turkey’s private DHA news agency said the victim was a police officer who was riding inside a vehicle that was swept away and fell into a ravine while heading to the disaster area.
Two other police officers who were also in the vehicle also died and two other officers and the operator of a mechanical digger are among those reported missing.
Rescue workers cleared the mud and debris in Dereli, which is located 20 kilometres inland from the Black Sea in Giresun province.
On Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the floods had spread to surrounding provinces, with injuries reported in Rize and Trabzon.
“God willing, we will overcome the damage and destruction here rapidly,” he said.
The amount of rainfall over the weekend was higher than the region’s total monthly average for August, said Turkey’s agriculture and forestry minister Bekir Pakdemirli.
The Black Sea region’s population is usually higher during the summer season and many seasonal workers travel to the area to harvest tea and hazelnuts and live in fragile camps.