Turkey’s Black Sea region hit by deadly flash floods and over 1 000 landslides

Turkey's Black Sea region hit by deadly flash floods and over 1 000 landslides

Flash floods and landslides, triggered by heavy rainfall on July 9, 2023, have left at least one person dead and caused widespread destruction across various provinces in the Black Sea region of Turkey. The Turkish State Meteorological Service had previously issued an “orange alert” warning for the region, indicating a potentially dangerous weather situation.

The Black Sea region, particularly its central and western parts, experienced heavy rainfall on July 9, following an “orange alert” issued by the Turkish State Meteorological Service. The alert, which signifies a dangerous weather situation that could lead to damage and loss, was issued as more than 1 000 landslides occurred and streets and roads transformed into waterlogged areas. The hardest hit cities included Zonguldak and Bartın, where homes and businesses were inundated with water.

With the alert continuing until July 10, authorities encouraged citizens to avoid high-risk areas, such as creek beds. The effects of the heavy rainfall were particularly severe in the Gökçedere neighborhood, 42 km (26 miles) from Samsun’s Çarşamba district. There, Abdal Creek overflowed, and Türkan Yılmaz, a disabled woman who had ventured outside to gather firewood, was swept away by the torrential waters. Search operations for Yılmaz were fraught with difficulty due to the conditions, but her body was eventually located approximately 6 km (3.7 miles) from where she disappeared.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya visited the severely impacted Bartın on July 10. He stated that the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) carried out search and rescue operations in the flood-affected regions. The operations included the deployment of helicopters and diver rescuers. In addition, AFAD evacuated numerous citizens from their flooded residences and workplaces.

Yerlikaya remarked on the extreme levels of rainfall, noting a 24-hour total of 200 mm (7.9 inches) in Bartın province. In response to the devastation, he announced an allocation of 30 million Turkish Liras ($1.2 million) to the flood-stricken province of Bartın.

A similar scene played out in Düzce, which recorded 223 mm (8.8 inches) of rainfall, leading the Melen River to overflow and trap a family inside their vehicle in a flooded underpass. Rescue teams safely evacuated the family.

Road closures also heavily impacted the western parts of the Black Sea region due to the floods. The Bolu Tunnel, a vital point of intercity road transportation, was closed to traffic in the Ankara-Istanbul direction as a result of a landslide. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloğlu, after visiting the Bolu Mountain Tunnel Control Center and speaking with Bolu Governor Erkan Kılıç and other officials, stated that 14 of the closed roads have been reopened, with work continuing on the remaining seven routes.

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1 Flash floods hit Black Sea provinces – July 11, 2023 – Hurryet Daily News

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