Recovery efforts have begun in Antalya after three days of heavy rain and a rare tornado wreaked havoc in the Kumluca, Kemer and Finike districts of the southern resort city. This included farmlands and residential areas, where 315 buildings were reported to have been damaged.
The damage following the out of ordinary weather for the tourist region caused approximately TL 100 million in material damage, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday during his speech in the province for the upcoming local elections on March 31.
"Whatever is necessary will be done," he said about the clean-up and reconstruction.
The powerful storm started Wednesday night, hitting multiple districts in Antalya and damaging buildings, agricultural areas and vehicles. At least two people have been reported killed and dozens injured so far. One other person is still reported missing.
Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum said yesterday 315 buildings were damaged during his visit to the province along with Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.
Soylu said the rescue and search efforts are underway for the missing student, Kader Buse Acar, who went missing after the tornado ripped through the Kemer district. Acar was in her car as the tornado dragged her into the river. The region has had heavy rains for about 20 days.
Kurum said that farmlands and livestock have been particularly affected due to heavy rainfall and floods.
The interior minister said the speed of the tornado was about 120-130 kilometers per hour, which was the reason for the heavy damage. He added that between 2001 and 2018 Turkey has lived through 159 tornados. On Saturday, speaking to Turkish news channel NTV, Antalya Gov. Münir Karaloğlu said that two planes and a police helicopter had suffered significant damage in the storm. He stated that none of the injured was in critical condition. He said authorities are surveying the damage and doing their best to clean up the airport to avoid further delays. Meanwhile, weather forecasters have warned against showers and thunder in eastern parts of Antalya, including the Serik, Manavgat, İbradi, Akseki, Gündoğmuş, Alanya and Gazipaşa districts. The authorities have warned the public to stay inside to avoid personal injuries. The power outage caused by the tornado affected 80,000 households in the province on Saturday, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez had said in Istanbul.