Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) reported yesterday, 12 November 2015, that two people had died and 11 were injured following heavy rainfall in Artvin province in north eastern Turkey. This is the second time in 3 months the province has been hit by deadly floods and landslides.
The two victims died in landslides caused by floods and heavy rain in Artvin’s Borçka district. Anadolu Agency, the Turkish News Agency, are reporting that another victim has died after a separate landslide in the same district.
Flooding and landslides had left around 20 people trapped inside 2 buildings. Teams from AFAD carried out rescue operations, including by helicopter.
Murgul and Hopa districts have also been affected by heavy rain and floods. Several major roads in the affected areas have been closed. Power and communication networks have also been badly affected.
According to WMO figures, 80.6 mm of rain fell in the city of Artvin in a 24 hour period between 11 and 12 November. Hopa recorded 46.3 mm during the same period.
Poor Housing Blamed
Turkish Newspaper The Daily Sabah, say that faulty housing developments have been blamed for the damage and deaths.
“Buildings constructed on streambeds were among the most affected by the floods and landslides. Experts say the Black Sea region is already prone to heavy rainfall throughout the year and a new solution is needed, such as a housing reform to prevent deaths and damage. The region’s geography is marked with steep hills and mountains which run parallel to the sea and the uneven elevation proves a major challenge for housing”.
August 2015 Floods in Artvin Province
At least 7 people died after floods in Artvin province in late August 2015. As much as 220 mm of rain fell in a 24 hour period between 24 and 25 August.
At the time, some blamed the floods on the construction of hydroelectric power plants in the area, which have redirected rivers.