Turkey evacuates some flooding victims; death toll hits 62

AP , Sunday 15 Aug 2021

Workers clear the mud from a street in Bozkurt town of Kastamonu province, Turkey, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. AP

Turkey sent ships to help evacuate people and vehicles from a northern town on the Black Sea that was hard hit by flooding, as the death toll in the disaster rose Sunday to at least 62 and more people than that remained missing.

Torrential rains pounded the country’s northwestern Black Sea provinces on Wednesday, causing flooding that demolished homes, severed bridges, swept away cars and rendered numerous roads unpassable. The Turkish disaster agency AFAD said 52 people were killed in the province of Kastamonu, nine in Sinop and one in Bartin.

Turkey’s interior minister said 77 people were still missing in the flooding. Eight remained hospitalized.

Emergency crews across the region kept up the search for the missing amid the many buildings that have partially collapsed. The Turkish defense ministry sent two ships to evacuate people and vehicles from a town in Sinop. They also sent military vehicles that can serve as temporary bridges to help get access to areas where bridges were wiped out.

Israel’s defense ministry said Sunday it had reached out to Turkey with an offer to send a search-and-rescue team.

The heavy flooding came after Turkey endured a searing heat wave and as crews in the south were taming wildfires that raced across the country’s Mediterranean coast.

Climate scientists say there’s 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 — as the Earth warms.

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