The death toll from Tuesday’s devastating floods that hit Turkey’s southeastern Kurdish provinces has risen to 15 as of Thursday, including a Syrian refugee family of five.
The floods caused by heavy rainfalls in Şanlıurfa (Riha), Adıyaman (Semsûr), Malatya (Meletî), Mardin (Mêrdîn) and Diyarbakır (Amed) added to the existing suffering of earthquake victims. As the death toll rises with 13 losing their lives in Şanlıurfa and two in Adıyaman, while four people remain missing, the earthquake survivors hit by this second calamity expressed their anger and frustration.
Social media footage showed that crowds were protesting against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Wednesday night with “government resign” slogans on the streets of Şanlıurfa.
The flood has also caused widespread disruption, with many places submerged under water and transport networks disrupted. The Şanlıurfa Training and Research Hospital has been evacuated, and patients transferred to other hospitals in the city.
The tent city in Diyarbakır, which the government-appointed mayor set up on the banks of the Tigris River despite the warnings of experts and non-governmental organisations that there was a risk of flooding, has been evacuated.
Search and rescue efforts are still ongoing, and there are concerns that the death toll may rise further.
In response to the disaster, the Şanlıurfa Governorate has announced the cancellation of school for one day, while pregnant and disabled public servants in public institutions and organisations will be considered on administrative leave.
Turkish General Directorate of Meteorology has announced that the weather in the earthquake zone will be rainy for the next five days.
The heavy downpour also caused floods in north and east Syria and northern Iraq on Wednesday. The Al-Shahir bridge in Raqqa province of northern Syria collapsed while one person died in Şinjar (Shengal), northern Iraq.