Severe floods and mudslides triggered by torrential rain in northern Turkey have left at least five people dead and another person missing, the country's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said Thursday.
The floods battered the Black Sea coastal provinces of Bartin, Kastamonu, Sinop and Samsun on Wednesday, demolishing homes and bridges and sweeping away cars. Helicopters scrambled to rescue people stranded on rooftops.
The disaster struck as firefighters in southwest Turkey worked to extinguish a wildfire in Mugla province, an area popular with tourists that runs along the Aegean Sea. The blaze was one of more than 200 wildfires in Turkey since July 28. At least eight people and countless animals died and thousands of residents have had to flee fierce blazes.
As floodwaters began to recede across the affected regions in Turkey's north, a statement from the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD, said rescuers had recovered five bodies and were still searching for one missing person. It was not immediately clear if they expected to find more bodies in swamped homes or vehicles.
The worst-hit area appeared to be in Kastamonu, where flooding inundated much of the town of Bozkurt. At least 13 people were injured when a section of a bridge collapsed in Bartin province. In Sinop, helicopters lifted 19 people to safety.
Many of the affected areas were left without power and village roads were blocked.
Turkey’s Black Sea region is frequently struck by severe 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.