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Turkey: More than 70 dead and missing following flash flooding

Scores of people killed in wake of natural disasters in Black Sea region
A soldier helps to clear debris after a flash flood destroyed the bank of the Ezine Stream in Bozkurt, Kastamonu province, on 15 August 2021 (AFP)

At least 70 people have been killed and dozens remain missing after floods devastated Turkey's Black Sea last week, Turkish authorities said on Monday.

The death toll has been climbing all weekend as rescue and recovery workers pick through the debris left behind by the subsiding waters in the hardest-hit areas.

At least 47 people are thought to be still missing.

More than 40 villages still have no electricity and some areas have no running water, according to the disaster and emergencies service (AFAD).

Emergency teams had set up temporary cell phone receivers and transmitters to help with communications, it added.

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The devastation across Turkey's northern Black Sea region came just as the disaster-hit country was taking control of hundreds of wildfires that killed eight people and destroyed swathes of forest along its scenic southern coast.

Turkey also suffered another bout of flooding in the northeastern province of Rize last month, which killed six.

Erdogan has previously said little about the flooding.

"I offer my condolences to the loved ones of our 17 fellow citizens who lost their lives," he said on Thursday night when the death toll was still 17.

His office said that Erdogan was speaking on the phone to regional leaders and promising to deliver all the assistance available to the state.

On Friday he visited one of the hardest-hit cities, leading a prayer for the victims and pledging government help.

The floods and the fires struck Turkey in the same week that a UN panel said that global warming is dangerously close to spiralling out of control and that extreme weather would become more severe.

More than 1,800 people were evacuated from affected areas, some with the help of helicopters and boats, AFAD said.

Helicopters lowered coastguard personnel onto the roofs of buildings to rescue people who were stranded, as floodwater swept through the streets, footage shared by the Interior Ministry showed.

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