11 Killed in Landslide in Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey-- Landslides and floods triggered by torrential rains swept through a town in northern Turkey, killing at least 11 people, officials said Friday.

The landslide hit dozens of homes in Gundogan, in the mainly tea-growing Black Sea province of Rize. The region has become prone to landslides from deforestation to clear way for plantations.

The rains began late Thursday, as many people were breaking their dawn-to-dusk fasts for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to the Anatolia news agency.

The Interior Ministry said 11 people were killed and two were reported missing.

Private NTV television said dozens of homes have collapsed and cars were buried in the mud. Several roads, including a major Black Sea coastal highway, were shut down.

One survivor, Burak Akat, said his family were dining when they heard a loud sound.
"We realized that the house was going to collapse. It did before I could say 'run it's going to collapse!"' Anatolia quoted Akat as saying. "I managed to throw myself out but my mother-in-law and my brother could not escape. They were buried in the landslide."

At least seven people were rescued with injuries, said Rize Gov. Seyfullah Hacimuftuoglu.
Firefighters and other rescuers also evacuated scores of people who were stranded in homes, he said.