ISTANBUL (Reuters) - At least eight people have been killed and many more rescued from high winds and flooding caused by a huge storm that has battered Turkey since Sunday.
The storm, a southwesterly known locally as a Lodos, hit the Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea regions of the country, causing roofs of houses to collapse and forcing residents in some areas to flee the rising waters.
In the northwestern province of Edirne close to the border with Greece, the flooding of the Meric and Tunca rivers cut off the Karaagac neighbourhood, home to 5,000 people.
Military vehicles and helicopters were dispatched to rescue the inhabitants, with Edirne governor Dursun Ali Sahin describing the flooding as the disaster of the century.
No casualties were reported in the area, but Sahin warned the situation could worsen, with water levels expected to rise further.
“Rescue efforts will continue in the coming hours. We know for a fact that road transportation across the river will be closed for 10 days,” he told local television reporters.
Four people in different provinces were killed by collapsing buildings on Monday. A taxi driver died when high winds brought a crane down on his cab.
In the southeastern province of Gaziantep, three young children from the same family were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, after high winds forced fumes back down the house’s chimney.
The storm brought down the roofs of more than 300 buildings and around 100 vehicles were damaged in Bursa province.
Local media footage showed huge waves slamming into the shore, and a mosque’s stone minaret being blown down.
Turkish Airlines said it had cancelled more than 100 flights over the weekend due to adverse weather.
Writing by Ece Toksabay; editing by Jonny Hogg and Andrew Roche