Turkey Extreme Weather Event

Extreme Rainfall in the Black Sea Region

In June 2016, Ordu, a coastal city in the Black Sea Region of Turkey, faced an extreme weather condition. A heavy rainfall of 300 kg per square meter resulted in a terrible disaster and loss of life. Landslides occurred in 16 regions that caused the destruction of many houses and bridges. Coastal roads were also closed to traffic due to landslides.

While deforestation increased the catastrophic consequences, improper construction techniques played a major role in this specific disaster. An old bridge built in 1940 was not demolished, but the bridge that was built ten years ago together with new retaining walls was demolished.  Several newly built houses were submerged. The main reason for this is that the new buildings and bridges have been constructed on the waterway without a proper soil survey. Also when agriculture was common in the region, the cultivated areas had waterways that resulted in a gradual flow. As agricultural activities decreased, these waterways could not find an offset such as street gutter.

After the incident, the construction permits in the risky areas have been revoked. However the existing buildings have not been evacuated yet which paves the way for similar disasters occurring in the future. The precautions to be taken in the region as well as the improvements made after the catastrophe are insufficient. After almost a year, the demolished bridges and retaining walls have not yet been repaired. It is necessary to take action without losing time in order to prevent similar incidents in the Black Sea Region.