Death toll in Turkish Black Sea coast floods increases to 7
Turkish rescue workers on Monday recovered the body of another victim of severe weekend floods that swept along Turkey’s Black Sea coast, raising the death toll to seven, officials said. At least nine other people were reported missing.
Helicopters hovered above the town of Dereli and the surrounding region in support of the search-and-rescue mission, which was launched after flooding caused by heavy rain washed away roads and buildings late Saturday.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who traveled to the region to oversee the rescue operation, said one more body was recovered early Monday. The private DHA news agency said the victim was a police officer who was riding inside a vehicle that was swept away by floodwater and fell into a ravine while heading to the disaster area.
Two other police officers who were in the vehicle already had been confirmed dead. Two more officers and the operator of a mechanical digger are among the missing.
Excavators were seen Monday clearing mud and debris in Dereli, which lies 12 miles (20 kilometers) inland from the Black Sea in Giresun province.
Television footage on Sunday showed vehicles and debris being swept away by the floodwaters in the town. Across the province, at least 17 buildings were destroyed and more than 360 were damaged, officials said.
Bekir Pakdemirli, Turkey’s agriculture, and forestry minister, said the amount of rainfall over the weekend was higher than the region’s total monthly average for August.
At this time of year, the Black Sea region’s population typically swells with seasonal workers who travel to harvest tea and hazelnuts and live in flimsy camps.