At least 6 dead, 12 injured as flooding hits Turkey’s Black Sea coast

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The death toll from floods in the Black Sea province of Giresun rose to 6, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Aug 23.

Those who lost their lives include two gendarmerie officers.

Earlier in the day, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the 12 people have been injured due to the heavy floods. Rescue operations are underway, he said, with nearly 150 saved from the deluge so far.

Erdoğan also offered condolences to families of those who lost their lives in floods.

Earlier, Soylu, who arrived at the scene, said five gendarmerie officers and an excavator operator went missing after a 5-meter (16-foot) high culvert collapsed due to floods in the region.

He said 12 people were reported missing.

Soylu also said the roads to 118 villages had been closed, with 20 having been reopened so far. Also, power had been restored to a total of 40 residential areas out of 78 where there had been outages due to the floods.

A total of 944 personnel had been deployed in the rescue efforts, he added.

Efforts continued to rescue people at a wedding hall in Dereli district and guests were being taken to a safe place.

Erdoğan issued directives to mobilize all means to heal the wounds of affected people and to take necessary steps to prevent such incidents from happening again, the Turkish Communications Directorate said in a statement.

The president also received information about the latest developments in the region and the status of search and rescue operations from Minister Soylu and Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli, who arrived at the scene.

The Defense Ministry announced that a helicopter belonging to the Turkish Air Forces was mobilized for search and rescue in Giresun.

Turkey‘s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) announced that rescue teams were dispatched to Giresun during the initial minutes of the natural disaster.

Referring to information received from the state meteorology authority, Soylu said rains, which started on Aug. 23, reached 137 kilograms (302 pounds) of density and affected districts.

He also warned that 50 to 100 kilograms (110 to 220 pounds) of rainfall is expected in the Çanakçı, Görele and Doğankent districts on Aug. 23.

Earlier, Giresun’s Governor Enver Ünlü told Anadolu Agency about a number of stranded people who have not been identified and several people have been rescued by teams.

He said efforts to get to those who are stranded would begin at first light in the morning and crews are working on opening access to roads and vehicles and heavy equipment are waiting for waters to recede before they enter.

Flood waters caused vehicles in Dereli to drift and buildings were also destroyed in the area, while security forces are trying to confirm reports about missing persons, he said.

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