Turkey: Floods DREF Operation No. MDRTR001


GLIDE No. FL-2009-000190-TUR

The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

CHF 294,118 (USD 283,725 or EUR 194,421) has been allocated from the International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Turkish Red Crescent Society in delivering immediate assistance to some 5,000 beneficiaries. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: Flash floods triggered by torrential rains killed 33 people and left another 7 people missing in north western Turkey. More than 35,000 people have been affected. The Turkish Red Crescent has started to distribute emergency shelter items, food parcels, bottled water and hygiene kits to the affected people and will also provide psychosocial support.

This operation is expected to be implemented over three months, and will therefore be completed by 14 December 2009. A Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (14 March 2010).

The situation

On 8 September 2009 flash floods triggered by torrential rains killed 7 people in Tekirdag, in the north western part of Turkey and another 26 people on the following day in Silivri and Catalca districts of Istanbul. As per 10 September, seven people remained missing. Officials report that some 35,000 people have been affected by the floods immersing homes and roads. According to the Istanbul Meteorology Department the rainfall on 8 September was the heaviest recorded in the last 80 years.

A disaster coordination centre under the Istanbul metropolitan municipality has been established immediately after the flash floods, headed by the governor of Istanbul. At the same time, crises desks reporting to the coordination centre have been set up in the districts where the population was heavily affected.

According to the governor of Istanbul the total damage from the floods could be about 70-80 million US dollars. The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed condolences to the families that lost their relatives and pledged billions of Turkish Lira for disaster relief in Istanbul and Tekirdag provinces.

Istanbul authorities launched a major rescue operation, deploying 900 fire fighters and rescuers, 6 military helicopters and 30 inflatable dinghies. During the acute phase of the floods, many people have been rescued by these means. According to the Turkish prime minister the emergency workers rescued an estimated 1,300 people from the flash floods.

After rescuing people, the teams from the municipality and governance have started to clean up the debris forming a mass in the junctions of water courses and motorways. The teams have been working 24 hours a day to reduce the damage caused by the floods.