Istanbul, Aug 15 (EFE).- At least 58 people have died following major flooding that hit three mountainous cities in northern Turkey, the country’s disaster authority (AFAD) reported Sunday.
Search and rescue operations have been underway since the floods caused by heavy rains hit the region on Wednesday.
Kastamonu city on the Black Sea coast is the worst hit area, where at least 48 people have died.
In Bartin, an old woman died, while at least nine fatalities were reported in Sinop city.
The severe flooding has destroyed buildings, roads and several bridges, cutting off hundreds of people in several towns across the area.
A total of 2,500 people have been forced to evacuate their homes, some 1,500 of whom were in Kastamonu only, according to AFAD.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced this Sunday that the navy is sending two ships to Sinop to assist in the evacuation of citizens, who remain trapped in the coastal city.
AFAD has not provided data on the number of missing people, but the Turkish network NTV said on Friday that the rescue agency is working on locating more than 100 people.
Many citizens blame the government for the disaster for having allowed the construction of urban areas along the rivers. EFE