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Death toll from floods in Turkey's Black Sea region rises to 55

A drone photo shows an aerial view of devastated site as search and rescue efforts continue in residential areas affected by deadly flash floods in Bozkurt district of Kastamonu, Turkey on 13 August 2021. [Mehmet Kaman - Anadolu Agency]
A drone photo shows an aerial view of devastated site as search and rescue efforts continue in residential areas affected by deadly flash floods in Bozkurt district of Kastamonu, Turkey on 13 August 2021. [Mehmet Kaman - Anadolu Agency]

The death toll from floods in Turkey's Black Sea region has risen to 55, authorities said on Saturday, Anadolu reports.

Floods caused by heavy rains hit the Black Sea region in the north of the country on Wednesday, leaving 43 people dead in the province of Kastamonu, Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) statement said.

Seven others died in the Sinop province and one person in Bartin province.

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.

READ: Firefighting plane crashes in southern Turkey, all 8 on board dead

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.

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