At least 22 dead in Turkey flooding | india | Hindustan Times
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At least 22 dead in Turkey flooding

india Updated: Nov 01, 2006 16:33 IST

Flash floods swept away a minibus carrying wedding guests in southeastern Turkey, killing 14 people, as torrential rain fell across the country, local authorities said on Wednesday.

At least 22 people were confirmed dead across Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. Dozens were missing.

The flood waters collapsed a house in Istanbul on Wednesday and authorities were checking whether anyone trapped inside.

The minibus was caught by the flood waters near the town of Cinar in Diyarbakir province on Tuesday evening, Gov Efkan Ala of Diyarbakir said.

The vehicle was heading to a wedding ceremony in the town of Savur, in nearby Mardin province, Dogan news agency reported.

The driver and three passengers left the minibus to seek help when it became stuck on a muddy road, but flood waters swept the vehicle off and the rest of the passengers drowned, the agency said.

Eight other people were killed in the provinces of Diyarbakir, Sirnak and Hakkari, authorities said.

Authorities and troops, reinforced by helicopters, were searching on Wednesday for several people who were reported missing across the southeast, authorities said.

Flood waters killed hundreds of animals and caused widespread damage to houses in several villages.

Heavy rainfall and flooding were also affecting Istanbul and the Mediterranean coast where the road between the towns of Alanya and Antalya was blocked, private NTV television said Wednesday.

"We are helpless," said Mayor Muharrem Ergul, of the Beykoz district of Istanbul.

"We're trying to rescue trapped people while also trying to evacuate flood waters that have inundated hundreds of houses."

Yusuf Tulun, the mayor of Sariyer district where the vacant house collapsed, said rescue teams were checking the debris after neighbors said a homeless person might have been trapped inside. 

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