Map of Turkey
16 Aug 2021

Heavy death toll in Black Sea flash floods

Massive amounts of rainwater have rushed through several cities and destroyed roads, bridges and buildings. At least 70 people have died and 47 are missing after heavy rains in the Black Sea region of northern Turkey.

 At least 70 people have died in Kastamonu and Sinop, according to a statement made by the country's disaster authority Afad on Saturday.

The violent flash floods  have demolished a large apartment building and seriously damaged two adjoining buildings. Around 1,700 people have been evacuated, some from rooftops by helicopter.

Many are still missing even after homes and  vital infrastructure were completely destroyed and huge bodies of water crashed through several cities. 

"This is unparalleled. There is no electricity. The mobile phones do not work. There is no coverage. It is impossible to get in touch with anyone... all we could do was wait", said 42-year-old Ilyas Kalabalik to journalists on site.

The floods occur just as the wildfires that have ravaged southern Turkey in recent weeks had been contained. Eight people have died in the fires.

Floods are common in northern Turkey during the summer, when the rains are usually particularly heavy.

Authorities state that the water level has risen markedly, reaching a height of between 2.5 and 4 meters in some areas.