ANKARA, Turkey – Flooding from torrential rains killed 22 people across Turkey, including 14 who died when a minibus carrying wedding guests was swept away, authorities said Wednesday. Dozens of others were missing.
Authorities sent tents, field kitchens and rescue teams to heavily flooded areas in southeastern Turkey, the state-owned Anatolia news agency reported.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan put the death toll at 22.
The minibus was caught by the floodwaters near the town of Cinar in Diyarbakir province on Tuesday, said Gov. Efkan Ala of Diyarbakir.
It was heading to a wedding in the town of Savur, in nearby Mardin province, when it got stuck in the mud, and the driver and three passengers left to seek help, the Dogan news agency said. Floodwaters then swept the vehicle away, and the remaining 14 passengers drowned, the report said.
Eight other people were killed in Diyarbakir, Sirnak and Hakkari provinces, authorities said.
Authorities and troops, reinforced by helicopters, were searching for people reported missing across the southeast, where floods heavily damaged houses in several villages.
Heavy rain and flooding were also affecting Istanbul and the Mediterranean coast, where the road between the cities of Antalya and Mersin was blocked, private NTV television said.
"We are helpless," said Mayor Muharrem Ergul of the Beykoz district of Istanbul. "We're trying to rescue trapped people while also trying to clear away floodwaters that have inundated hundreds of houses."
About 200 workers were trapped at a factory in Beykoz district, Anatolia reported. Turkish troops, firefighters and municipality workers were aiding in rescue efforts.
Flooding caused a house to collapse in Istanbul, and authorities were trying to determine if anyone was trapped inside.