At least 7 people have died and 3 remain missing after floods struck yesterday 24 August 2015 in Artvin province in Turkey. The province is situated on the Black Sea coast in the north-eastern corner of the country, near to the border with Georgia, which recently suffered from flash floods that left at least 19 dead.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) said that torrential rain triggered floods and landslides that have left 7 people dead, 17 injured and 3 missing. According to WMO figures, the coastal city of Hopa, Artvin Province, saw 221 mm of rain fall in 24 hours between 24 and 25 August 2015.
Local media report that rivers have overflowed and Turkish TV showed pictures flood water racing through the streets of Hopa, inundating houses and sweeping away vehicles. Three of the deaths were caused by the collapse of a house in Hopa. The other victims are thought to have died in floods in villages of Yoldere, Yeşilköy, and Eşmekaya, in Hopa district.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) said that rescue crews in Black Sea region are on alert and a team of 31 people have been sent to the area to carry out relief and rescue operations.
Some are blaming the floods on the construction of hydroelectric power plants in the area, which have redirected rivers.
Mert Güvenç, the head of the Chamber of Environmental Engineers, a sub-organization of the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) told Turkish newspaper Hürriyet that “this disaster is manmade”.
“The catastrophe was triggered by riverbeds whose directions were changed in order to construct hydroelectric power plants and regulators placed to transfer more water to the plants. The Black Sea region has already been dangerous in regard to landslides.”