Severe flooding hits Turkey’s Black Sea region again

A month after floods and landslides killed six people in Turkey’s Black Sea region, heavy rains hit central parts of the region on Tuesday and Wednesday. A woman went missing in Bartın, one of the provinces most affected by the rains. Floods were also reported in Karabük and Kastamonu provinces.

In Bartina, after heavy rainfall on Tuesday, flood waters inundated a large number of homes and businesses, sweeping away vehicles. The worst damage was done in the Ulus area. Part of the road connecting the province to Karabuk collapsed while bulldozers waded through floodwaters to rescue 20 people trapped in their homes. Search and rescue teams were dispatched to flood-affected areas.

Provincial Governor Sinan Güner told reporters that the first reports of flood damage and trapped people began arriving around 3:00 a.m. He spoke to reporters Wednesday on a road closed because of landslides. “We rescued people trapped in their homes near the riverbed. Our crews also rescued people stuck in their cars,” he said.

Güner said an elderly woman in the village of Akeren Söküler was missing after her wooden house nearly collapsed due to flooding that swept her away. “Many bridges, roads to villages and houses collapsed in the region,” he complained. The Office of Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) reported that 13 people were injured when a bridge collapsed on a road connecting the provinces of Bartın and Karabük.

Sinop, a province at the northern tip of the country, was also hit hard by floods Wednesday. Heavy rains were particularly devastating to the area of Ayanchik, where the stream broke its banks, ripping chunks out of the bridge above it. Cars parked near the river banks were swept away by the strong current, and officials announced that the state hospital in the area was being evacuated as a precautionary measure.

The media reported that workers at the plant were trapped because of the flooding. A large number of residents trapped by floodwaters were evacuated by helicopters. Workers were also trying to clear a road connecting downtown Sinop with Ayanchik, which was blocked by debris brought in by a landslide. AFAD announced that it had dispatched crews and boats to flood-affected areas to evacuate citizens.

In Karabuk, the sudden and heavy rain disrupted daily life, flooding basements of buildings and trapping people in homes and cars. Rescue crews worked to rescue trapped people throughout Tuesday evening.

The situation was no different in Castamonu province, where clogged drainage systems exacerbated flooding in the streets. Floodwaters also damaged agricultural fields in the province. A road connecting the center of Kastamonu with the district of Inebolu was closed due to a landslide.

Kastamonu Governor Avni Çakır told reporters Wednesday that Abana and Bozkurt districts, as well as Azdavay, were affected by the floods. “Because of the rainfall on Tuesday night, the river broke its banks in Azdavai. We haven’t been able to get to the area yet because of the landslide on the road,” he said, noting that road service crews are working to repair the road. Chakir said there were no injuries, but urged locals to stay indoors “only if necessary.”

Authorities warned that more precipitation is expected in the Black Sea region on Wednesday. The population was warned of floods and landslides in parts of the region, including Tokat, Erzincan, Gumushane, Bayburt, Sinop, Samsun, Orda, Kastamonu and Bartın provinces.

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