Flash floods wreak havoc across Turkey

After the fires… now flash floods ravage Turkey – stranding villagers on rooftops, sweeping away cars and triggering mudslides

  • Turkish military have evacuated a regional hospital on Wednesday, plucking people from rooftops 
  • Flash floods have wreaked havoc across Turkey’s Black Sea coastline, washing away cars and homes 
  • Eight people were taken to hospital after a bridge was destroyed by the surging flood waters  

Turkish rescuers evacuated a regional hospital on Wednesday and plucked stranded villagers off rooftops as flash floods and mudslides swept across the Black Sea coast.

Officials said one person died of a heart attack in the mayhem and an elderly women was swept away by the rushing water and remained unaccounted for.

The health ministry said eight people were also rushed to hospital when a bridge collapsed.

Emergency services in Turkey have been struggling to cope with flash floods following earlier devastating wild fires 

Drone footage shows the scenes around the Bozkurt district of Kastamonu in Turkey which has seen major flash floods 

‘From a meteorological point of view, we are perhaps facing a disaster that we had not seen in 50 or 100 years,’ Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said of the flooding and heavy rains.

The downpours along Turkey’s northern coast came as firefighters had just about got under control wildfires in the south that have killed eight people since late July.

Turkey has been grappling with drought and a rapid succession of natural disasters that world scientists believe are becoming more frequent and violent because of climate change.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that a hospital holding 45 patients – four of them in intensive care – had been evacuated in the northern Sinop region because of flooding.

The local authority tweeted images of rescuers pulling dinghies carrying patients away from the hospital along flooded streets.

Images aired by the DHA news agency showed water covering the hospital’s ground floor.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said water levels had reached three to four metres (10 to 13 feet) in some regions along the Black Sea coast.

Images on television and social media showed water level rising to the level of street signs in some towns.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said water levels had reached three to four metres (10 to 13 feet) in some regions along the Black Sea coast

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 Kastamanu governor’s office denied reports the flooding was caused by a burst dam nearby

One showed about a dozens cars and a van being swept along a road that had turned into a rushing river in the northern city of Kastamonu.

The evacuations came less than a month after six people died in floods caused by heavy rains in the northeast Rize province.

Officials said that all but three of the nearly 300 fires that had been ravaging Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean coasts since July 28 have been brought under control.  

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 Kastamanu governor’s office denied reports the flooding was caused by a burst dam nearby.

‘Within 10 minutes, everywhere was flooded,’ restaurant owner Nuri Ersoz told Halk TV television by telephone. He said he feared for his cousin’s life since 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 was traveling to Kastamonu said waters have surged ‘three or four meters (yards) high’ in some of the flood-hit areas and that many people were waiting to be rescued from rooftops

Emergency workers rescued at least 15 people trapped in their homes or vehicles, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. But they were searching for an 80-year-old woman in the village of Akorensokuler who was swept away by floodwaters after her house collapsed, the Interior Ministry said

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu who was traveling to Kastamonu said waters have surged ‘three or four meters high’ in some of the flood-hit areas and that many people were waiting to be rescued from rooftops.

‘Evacuations and search-and-rescue efforts are continuing,’ he 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 neighboring province of Karabuk, the private Turkish news agency DHA reported. At least 13 people were injured when part of a bridge caved in, the country’s disaster and 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 an 80-year-old woman 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 residents to safety from rooftops. The town’s hospital was evacuated as a precaution, Anadolu reported. Landslides 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 struck 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 heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and storms. Such calamities are expected to happen more frequently on our warming planet.

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