Flood loss of life toll in northern Turkey rises to 78 one week on

A week after torrential rains caused flooding in provinces in the central Black Sea region, the death toll rose with the discovery of more bodies carried away by floods. The Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) presidency said in a statement late Tuesday that 62 people were killed in Kastamonu province.

Fourteen others died in Sinop Province and one person in Bartın Province, while seven victims are being treated in hospitals, it said. A total of 341 people were evacuated in Bartın, 1,480 in Kastamonu and 560 in Sinop, the agency said. It was also announced on Monday that 47 people were reported missing in Sinop and Kastamonu.

Rescue and relief efforts in flood-affected areas will continue with 8,100 people, 1,000 vehicles, 21 helicopters and 81 ambulances.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the hardest hit floodplain in Bozkurt, Kastamonu on Friday. Erdoğan announced that the affected areas have been declared disaster areas and will receive state aid.

Floods are the result of unprecedented rainfall in three provinces, although the wider Black Sea region is vulnerable to such disasters due to heavy rainfall and the haphazard construction of residential buildings near the river beds. In the recent floods, several buildings on the banks of the Ezine stream in Bozkurt collapsed and an unknown number of people died. The police arrested the contractor of one of these buildings in Istanbul on Tuesday. The suspect was brought to Kastamonu for questioning by the public prosecutor’s office. Although the charges against him have not yet been released, media reported that he was accused of manslaughter due to the poor construction of the building, which resulted in deaths.

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