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Cyprus

Search goes on for woman whose friends died in north’s flash flood

Divers search a swollen river in Kyrenia

By Evie Andreou

Authorities in the north continued the search on Friday to locate an 18-year-old woman, believed to have been with three other persons, who were found dead on Thursday after their car was swept away by a torrent during flash floods in the Kyrenia area.

The woman is yet to be found. The bodies of the three other persons believed to have been in the same car, an 18-year-old woman and two men aged 21 and 23, were found on Thursday near Kyklos, in the Kyrenia area.

At the moment authorities are searching for Gaye Soyutok. It was announced that she had been among the three persons whose bodies were found on Thursday, but authorities announced on Friday that she was still missing. She was mistaken for Gunay Kandaz,18, who was initially announced as missing. Kandaz was identified as one of the three persons found dead on Thursday. The other two are Tolga Bekci, 21, and Ahmet Kilic, 23.

Authorities in the north said the search for Soyutok would carry on throughout the night. The car the four persons were in was located also on Thursday.

Rescue crews had tried to pull the car from the ravine it was swept in at 1am on Thursday but failed due to heavy rain.

The biggest damage was reportedly caused in Kyrenia, Karavas, and Lapithos. Rivers burst their banks, causing damage in the north of Nicosia and forcing the partial closure of a motorway linking the city to Kyrenia. Trees were uprooted and roads sunk while damage was caused to buildings. Images on social media showed cars swept into the sea or submerged in flood water and water gushing through homes.

President Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday spoke to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to offer any help they needed and to express his condolences for the loss of life. Akinci responded that the situation had been under control.

There has been a lot of criticism in the north of the uncontrolled construction, often in riverbeds, which is one of the causes of the destruction.

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