Six killed, 3 missing in flash floods in Turkey

September 8, 2009 7:16:32 AM PDT
Flash floods triggered by torrential rains killed six people and left swaths of lands in northwestern Turkey awash Tuesday. At least three people were reported missing. Nazmi Coban, the mayor of the town of Saray, said rescue workers there recovered the bodies of four people, including a 6-year-old girl, and were searching for another member of the family who was swept away by floods.

Rescuers also found the bodies of an elderly couple whose house collapsed in the floods, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported. Saray is in Tekirdag province, close to the border with Greece.

Heavy rains that began late Monday washed away one bridge and inundated hundreds of homes in the Saray region. Dozens of farm animals were swept away by gushing waters.

Heavy rains caused floods in the Silivri and Catalca suburbs of Istanbul, as well, immersing homes and roads, officials said. Two people were reported missing. One was a girl, whose mother and sister managed to get out of a car safely before the girl was dragged away by the floods, Istanbul Gov. Muammer Guler said.

In Silivri, police and military helicopters were sent to rescue people confined to their homes, according to television footage. Dozens of cars were swept away. A fire truck could be seen lying on its side.

Two international highways linking Istanbul to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria were closed temporarily, Anatolia reported.

On Monday, a Cambodia-flagged freighter broke into two and sank in heavy storms off the coast of Istanbul. All 12 crew members were rescued.

More rain was forecast for the area Wednesday.

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