Floods Strike Northern Turkey as it Battles Wildfires

Heavy rainfall has triggered severe floods and mudslides in the coastal provinces of Bartin, Kastamonu, Sinop, and Samsun in northern Turkey and has left at least one person dead. 

The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) reported that the lone casualty was a person who died from a heart attack in Bartin while 13 more were wounded after a bridge collapsed in the same region.

In Kastamonu’s town of Bozkurt. dozens of cars were swept away by flash floods but no injuries or deaths were reported. 

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who traveled to Kastamonu, reported that floodwaters have surged “three or four meters high” and that residents were forced to evacuate on rooftops. 

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

In Sinop, news footage showed houses collapsing from floodwaters while vehicles were also seen floating away.

Roads leading to and from Sinop were also closed while a hospital was forced to evacuate as more rainfall is expected to fall in the region. 

“From a meteorological point of view, we are perhaps facing a disaster that we have not seen in 50 or 100 years,” said agriculture and forestry minister Bekir Pakdemirli.

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