The death toll from floods in Turkey's Black Sea region rose to 57, authorities said late Saturday.
Floods caused by heavy rains hit the region in the north on Wednesday, leaving 48 people dead in the province of Kastamonu, according to a statement by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
Eight others died in Sinop province and one in Bartin province.
A total of 62 people are reported missing in Kastamonu, along with 14 in Sinop, Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said after examinations in the Bozkurt district in Kastamonu province alongside Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez
“We delivered 20 tons of food yesterday and today by helicopter alone,” Soylu said, adding that officials are trying to meet the needs of victims -- from funerals to damage assessment.
Kurum said there are at least 454 severely damaged and ruined buildings in the three provinces but authorities are working on building new structures within the next year.
Arife Unal, an 85-year-old woman, drowned and was swept away during the floods in Bartin. Four days of search and rescue efforts ended after finding her lifeless body 600 meters (1,970 feet) from her house.
According to a statement by the governor's office in Bartin, 13 bridges were destroyed in the flood, while at least 45 buildings were heavily damaged.
Rescue and relief operations continue in the flood-hit areas, the statement added.
Some 918 workers in Bartin, 3,547 in Kastamonu, and 1,910 in Sinop are conducting relief work in the affected areas, according to AFAD.
A total of 341 people in Bartin, 1,580 in Kastamonu, and 533 in Sinop were evacuated to safe areas by helicopters and boats, the disaster management agency said.
Meanwhile, 223 volunteers, nine catering trucks, and 54 vehicles sent by the Turkish Red Crescent to the region are working on the ground.
On Friday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the Bozkurt district in Kastamonu, the worst-hit flood area.
"We will do our best as a state as quickly as possible, and hopefully we will rise from our ashes again," he said.
The president added that he would make an on-the-spot assessment together with Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu, and Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum. The necessary steps will be taken after the assessment, he said.
Later in the day, Erdogan announced that the places affected had been declared a disaster area.
These places will be able to defer tax dues and local tradespeople will be allowed to postpone payments to the country's Social Security Institution. Assistance will also be provided to cover property, vehicle, and workplace losses.
Businesses' loan repayments will also be postponed, with the state preparing an emergency support plan for disaster-hit areas.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.