Death toll in Turkey rises to 70 after floods with dozens reported missing

Credit: AP

At least 70 people have died in northern Turkey after a series of flash floods along the Black Sea coast, officials have said.

The Turkish disaster management agency, AFAD, said at least 60 people were killed in the province of Kastamonu, which is the worst hit area. Nine have died in the area of Sinop, and one in Bartin.

Bozkurt town in Kastamonu, Turkey. Credit: AP

The floods, which were triggered by torrential rains, have destroyed livelihoods, including homes, roads, cars and other key infrastructure.

Emergency crews on Monday pressed ahead with efforts to locate at least 47 people who were still reported missing in Kastamonu and Sinop. AFAD said some 8,000 people, backed by 20 rescue dogs, are involved in the rescue and assistance efforts. 

Hundreds of homes were evacuated across the region amid the floods - scores of them lifted to safety by helicopters. Many are being temporarily housed in student dormitories. Around 40 villages remain without power, according to AFAD.   

Onlookers watch on in the town of Bozkurt, Kastamonu, in Turkey. Credit: AP

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Kastamonu on Friday, and addressed the loss of lives in a social media post.

He said: "Although we cannot bring back the loss of life that hurt our hearts, we have the power, means and determination to make up for every other loss. We will continue to work for our nation."

A wildfire raging in the forest in Koycegiz, Mugla, Turkey, in early August 2021.

Turkey has also experienced a heatwave, resulting in a number of large wildfires in the south, racing across the Mediterranean coast.

Climate scientists say there is little doubt that climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving more extreme events: such as heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and storms, as the Earth warms.