Turkey: At least 27 killed in devastating floods; Buildings, bridges and power lines collapse; streets clog

A massive search and rescue operation has been launched in Turkey after flash floods along the Black Sea coast killed at least 27 people.

Kastamonu province is the worst-hit area, accounting for 25 of the deaths. Two others died in Sinop on the coast.

The floods caused some buildings to collapse, smashed several bridges, clogged some streets with wrecked cars and cut power supplies.

In flooded areas near the Black Sea, helicopters airlifted some people from rooftops, others were rescued by boat.

More than 1,700 people have been evacuated, and as many as 330 villages are now without electricity, after the floods damaged power lines.

Mountainous areas along Turkey’s Black Sea coast are prone to flooding in the summer.

But Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on a visit to the area on Thursday “this is the worst flood disaster I have seen”.

This month Turkey has also had to battle huge wildfires in the south.

Those fires – which are now under control – forced thousands of locals and tourists to flee Marmaris and surrounding areas. Eight people died and more than 100,000 hectares of vegetation was devastated.

Turkey’s latest disaster came in the week that a major UN report warned of more extreme weather events because of human-induced global warming. Flash floods and severe heatwaves are afflicting much of Europe this summer.