(Istanbul) At least 13 people died on Wednesday in floods that hit two provinces in southeastern Turkey already affected by the devastating earthquake of February 6, adding to the distress of the survivors.
Eleven people lost their lives in the town of Sanliurfa, including five Syrian nationals found dead in the basement of a building, and two others are missing, according to Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency.
Two other people have died and several more are currently wanted in neighboring Adiyaman province, also hit by heavy rains after suffering extensive destruction in the quake.
At least one of the victims was inside a container converted into emergency accommodation when she was trapped by the waters.
Some two million quake survivors have been temporarily housed in tent and container villages in Turkey’s eleven quake-hit provinces.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Söylu said the second victim in Adiyaman province was a one-and-a-half-year-old baby.
More than 160 rescuers and divers have been dispatched to the area, he said.
According to the governorate of Sanliurfa and images broadcast by the private channel NTV, the torrential rains also invaded the ground floor of one of the main hospitals in the province, including an intensive care unit, forcing doctors to transfer patients.
Images taken on Wednesday showed avenues in Sanliurfa, a large city 50 kilometers as the crow flies from the Syrian border, transformed into brownish torrents carrying cars and trucks.
A video, shot in the province of Malatya, neighboring that of Adiyaman, also showed the level of the water rising around white tents where survivors of the earthquake are refugees.
The earthquake of February 6 killed nearly 48,500 people and affected 13.5 million people, or nearly a sixth of the Turkish population, according to the latest report from the authorities.
In the campaign for his re-election on May 14, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was again on Sunday in the earthquake zone he frequently visited, promised on Wednesday to build 650,000 homes in the provinces as soon as possible. affected by the earthquake.
“Beyond the relief operations, emergency assistance and temporary shelters we have provided so far, we promise our nation to restore the cities destroyed in the earthquake within a year.” , he said in a speech to MPs from his party, reiterating a promise made in the aftermath of the disaster.