Severe flooding in northern Turkey leaves at least nine dead

At least nine people have died in northern Turkey after torrential rain triggered severe flooding and mudslides on the Black Sea coast.

One other person is missing in the province of Bartin, the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said on Thursday.

The floods battered the coastal provinces of Bartin, Kastamonu, Sinop, and Samsun on Wednesday, demolishing homes and bridges and sweeping away cars. Helicopters were also scrambled to rescue several people stranded on rooftops.

The AFAD confirmed that rescuers had recovered the bodies of at least nine victims in Kastamonu, the worst-affected region, where one building in the town of Bozkurt had collapsed. Many of the affected areas were left without power and village roads were blocked.

In Bartin province, at least 13 people were injured when a section of a bridge caved in. Turkish Armed Forces’ helicopters lifted 80 people to safety in the region, the military said.

“This is a disaster that we haven’t seen for 50 or 100 years, maybe,” said Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli, “we have recorded record rainfall in some places.”

Turkey’s Black Sea region is frequently struck by severe rains and flash flooding.

The disaster struck as firefighters in southwest Turkey were also working to extinguish a wildfire in Mugla province, an area popular with tourists that runs along the Aegean Sea.

The blaze, which was brought under control on Thursday, was one of more than 200 wildfires in Turkey since July 28. At least eight people have died and thousands of residents have had to flee fierce blazes.

Many scientists link global warming caused by human activity to the increasing frequency of such extreme weather events.

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