Death toll rises to 15 in flood disaster

At least 15 people lost their lives in the floods caused by torrential rains that hit the southern provinces of Şanlıurfa and Adıyaman, while search efforts are ongoing for four people.

Şanlıurfa has been already affected by the devastating Feb. 6 earthquakes, the amount of rain for a year under normal conditions fell within two days, causing the flood and claiming the lives of 13 people.

Though the heavy rain showed its effect in nearly all southern quake-hit provinces, Şanlıurfa experienced the most severe destruction.

Hundreds of houses and workplaces were flooded, and cars were submerged in the flood waters in Şanlıurfa.

While the number of deaths was reported as 14 on March 15, another body was found in the early hours of March 16.

Two firefighters who were trapped in the underpass of Abide Junction in the city center were rescued and taken to the hospital.

A woman and a child were also saved by throwing a rope at them.

While a diver team was removing a minibus that had sunk into the water, the body of a dead man was found in the vehicle.

Upon another notice, the gendarmerie and rescue teams were dispatched to Şanlıurfa’s Tandoğan district and saw that the basement of a building was filled with flood waters.

Firefighters removed the lifeless bodies of five people from the basement, while it was learned that they were Syrian nationals.

Due to heavy rain in the provinces, temporary shelters in the tent and container cities where quake survivors stay also flooded.

Some quake survivors in these regions were placed in dormitories.

Others were trying to evacuate the water that had fillet their tents, doubling the difficulty they experienced in the quake zone.

In the city, where education was suspended on March 15, the schools remained closed on March 16.

Balıklıgöl, a well-known lake and one of the symbols of the city, was also flooded.

The region was left in mud due to stone and soil carried by the flood, and it was estimated that 20 percent of the fish in the lake died.

Şanlıurfa Municipality stated that the flood was the biggest disaster the city experienced in the last 65 years, adding that 4,895 people requested help by calling the headquarters of the municipality.

“There is heavy rainfall. The average annual precipitation of Şanlıurfa is 450 kilograms, and the total amount of precipitation in just two days is almost 200 kilograms. Our citizens went out to terraces, high places. It’s an extraordinary situation,” Şanlıurfa Governor Salih Ayhan stated.

In Adıyaman which has experienced massive destruction in the earthquakes, two people lost their lives in the flood.

A container in which Sarıkaya and Tekdal families stayed after the quakes were swept away by the flood waters in the city’s Tut district.

While eight people in the container were rescued, Selma Sarıkaya lost her life.

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