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Severe flooding and mudslides in northern Turkey leave at least 27 dead

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By Euronews with AP, AFP
Destroyed cars in a street after floods and mudslides in Bozkurt town of Kastamonu province.
Destroyed cars in a street after floods and mudslides in Bozkurt town of Kastamonu province.   -   Copyright  IHA via AP
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Turkish authorities said on Friday the death toll from the severe floods and mudslides that struck the north of the country has risen to 27. One other person is reported missing.

Torrential rain triggered severe flooding and mudslides on the Black Sea coast. The floods battered the coastal provinces of Bartin, Kastamonu, Sinop, and Samsun on Wednesday, demolishing homes and bridges and sweeping away cars. Helicopters were also scrambled to rescue several people stranded on rooftops.

The country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) confirmed on Thusday that rescuers had recovered the bodies of at least 15 victims in Kastamonu, the worst-affected region, where one building in the town of Bozkurt had collapsed.

AFAD said on Friday morning that another 10 bodies were recovered in Kastamonu.

The two other victims were found in Sinop, while an 80-year-old woman was reported missing in Bartin province. Many of the affected areas were left without power and village roads were blocked.

Nearly 5,000 search and rescue personnel have been deployed in the three provinces.

In Bartin province, at least 13 people were injured when a section of a bridge caved in. Turkish Armed Forces’ helicopters lifted 80 people to safety in the region, the military said.

IHA via AP
A man looks on as floodwaters sweep by in Bozkurt.IHA via AP

"This is a disaster that we haven't seen for 50 or 100 years, maybe," said Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli, "we have recorded record rainfall in some places."

Turkey’s Black Sea region is frequently struck by severe rains and flash flooding.

A total of six bridges have collapsed, and several roads were close to traffic due to the damages. The water supply was also disrupted in several neighbourhoods.

The disaster struck as firefighters in southwest Turkey were also working to extinguish a wildfire in Mugla province, an area popular with tourists that runs along the Aegean Sea.

The blaze, which was brought under control on Thursday, was one of more than 200 wildfires in Turkey since July 28. At least eight people have died and thousands of residents have had to flee fierce blazes.

The vast majority of scientists link global warming caused by human activity to the increasing frequency of such extreme weather events.

At least six people were killed in floods that hit the eastern Black Sea coastal province of Rize last month.