Ankara: Landslides and floods triggered by
torrential rains swept through a town in northern Turkey,
killing at least 12 people, officials said on Friday.
The landslide hit dozens of homes in Gundogan, in the
tea-growing Black Sea province of Rize. The region has become
prone to landslides because of deforestation to clear way for
The rains began late yesterday, as many people were
breaking their dawn-to-dusk fasts for the Muslim holy month of
Ramadan, according to the Anatolia news agency.
The Interior Ministry said 11 people were killed and
two were reported missing. Rescuers later pulled out the body
of an elderly woman, the Anatolia news agency reported,
raising the death toll to 12.
Private NTV television said dozens of homes collapsed
and cars were buried in mud. Several roads, including a major
Black Sea coastal highway, were shut down.
One survivor, Burak Akat, said his family was dining
when a loud sound was heard.
"We realised that the house was going to collapse. It
did before I could say, `Run it`s going to collapse!`"
Anatolia quoted Akat as saying. "I managed to throw myself out
but my mother-in-law and my brother could not escape. They
were buried in the landslide."
At least seven people with injuries were rescued, said
Rize Gov Seyfullah Hacimuftuoglu.
Firefighters and other rescuers also evacuated scores
of people who were stranded in homes, he said.