Turkey Floods: Flash floods along the Black Sea coast kills at least 44 people

A huge search-and-rescue operation is under way in northern Turkey after flash floods along the Black Sea coast killed at least 44 people.

Kastamonu province is the worst-hit area. Apartment buildings in the town of Bozkurt were destroyed when the Ezine river burst its banks.

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

Eight people died when a fire-fighting plane crashed in Adana on Saturday, just before it was due to land.

Five Russian servicemen and three Turkish citizens were on board the aircraft, Interfax agency reported.

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.

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

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Kastamonu on Friday and attended a funeral for some of the flooding victims.

“We can’t bring back the citizens we lost, but our state has the means and power to compensate those who lost loved ones,” Mr Erdogan said after leading prayers.

Mr Erdogan’s government has faced criticism for its handling of Turkey’s recent natural disasters.

In the flooded areas, helicopters plucked some people from rooftops while others were rescued by boat.

More than 1,700 people have been evacuated, and as many as 330 villages are without electricity.

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.

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”.

In neighbouring Greece, the authorities say widespread wildfires are more controllable now since much-needed rainfall came in the past 48 hours.