Salem Radio Network News Sunday, March 3, 2024

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Severe storms in Turkey leave 9 dead. 11 are still missing after a cargo ship sank in the Black Sea

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Severe storms and flooding have left nine people dead across Turkey, officials said Monday, including one seaman who died when a cargo ship sank off Turkey’s Black Sea coast. Eleven other crew were reported missing.

The Turkish-flagged Kafkametler sank on Sunday after hitting a breakwater outside the harbor off the town of Eregli, some 200 kilometers (124 miles) east of Istanbul. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloglu said the vessel, which was on its way to the western Turkish port of Izmir, smashed into the breakwater several times before it sank.

The search-and-rescue operation was delayed by several hours because of the severe weather. But as the condition eased, rescuers on Monday found the body of the ship’s cook, Uraloglu said.

At least three people were killed in the storms in the town of Eregli, while five people died in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir and Batman after being swept away by floodwaters caused by heavy rains, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said. The victims included a grandmother and her three grandchildren. Some 50 people were hurt.

Another cargo ship, the Cameroon-flagged Pallada broke into two due to heavy weather conditions after running aground in 5-meter (16-foot) waves off Eregli, the Maritime General Directorate said. All 13 crew were rescued safely.

Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said inmates had been transferred from Eregli’s prison to surrounding facilities due to rising water levels.

In neighboring Bulgaria, gale-force winds and heavy rain and snow claimed the lives of two people on Sunday and disrupted power supplies. Officials declared a state of emergency in the Black Sea city of Varna.

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