Cyprus Mail

Old weather data contributed to Kyrenia flooding deaths

People watch a flooded area of Kyrenia

Antiquated data and construction errors were responsible for the deaths of four people in flash-flooding in Kyrenia last December Turkish Cypriot ‘public works minister’ Tolga Atakan said on Friday.

According to statements Atakan gave to Bayrak, the Kyklos area of Kyrenia – where the flooding took place – was undergoing road works and the weather data being used was taken over the course of the last 50 years.  He added: “In the end that data was not compatible with today’s information. “

Four youths died in the flooding that hit the area in late December, sparking a lot of criticism in the north of the uncontrolled construction, often in riverbeds, which is one of the causes of the extent of the destruction.

The dead were: Gaye Soyutok (18), Gunay Kandag (18), Tolgay Bekci (21) and Ahmet Kilic (23).

A report on the cause of the incident was prepared by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Architects and it was presented to the press.

According to the report, construction and works conducted in the Kiklos area failed to take into account the high levels of rainfall and mudslides.

Rescue crews had tried to pull the car from the ravine it was swept into at 1am but failed due to heavy rain. Haber Kibris reported that the biggest damage was 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.

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