At least 5 killed, hundreds evacuated as flash floods hit northwest Turkey

Hundreds have been evacuated after flash floods and landslides devastated areas of Düzce province in northwest Turkey, local press reported on Wednesday.

The bodies of five of seven missing people have been recovered since record-breaking levels of rainfall caused floods on the Melen river on July 17 and 18, hitting 124 villages and later causing landslides.

A total of 232 people have been rescued in the province, Daily Sabah reported on Wednesday.

The severity of the situation led the governorate to declare a disaster area in Düzce, the pro-government daily said.

But hours later, the governorate detracted this designation to instead say there had been an “impact on general life” in the area, news site T24 reported on Wednesday evening.

The decision to change the wording was taken after the disaster area caused what T24 described as a bureaucratic crisis.

The governorate told press it had used the term disaster inadvertently.

Images from the flood show streets and buildings engulfed in water. Pictures taken after the floods receded show buildings damaged beyond use.