Storm splits cargo ship in half in Turkey, rescue teams search for 11 sailors, at least one dead

Turkey’s Maritime Disaster: Pallada Cargo Ship Splits Amid Storms

The coastal town of Eregli, east of Istanbul, witnessed a maritime disaster as the Cameroon-flagged Pallada cargo ship broke in two after running aground in stormy weather.

The incident, occurring amid 16ft waves, led to the successful rescue of all 13 crew members. However, rescue efforts were hindered due to adverse weather conditions while searching for another sunken vessel, the Turkish-flagged Kafkametler, off the coast of Zonguldak province. With 12 crew members on board, the fate of the sailors remained uncertain.

Desperate Search for Missing Sailors

The distressed situation intensified as rescue crews grappled with the challenging weather to retrieve the body of one crew member from the choppy seas.

The Kafkametler’s captain had reported the ship’s drift towards a breakwater at Eregli and Yerlikaya on Sunday morning, possibly resulting in a collision with the structure. Powerful storms over the weekend in the region hampered air and sea searches until Monday morning.

Widespread Impact of Storms in Turkey

The storms wreaked havoc across Turkey, claiming lives and causing substantial damage. Severe weather warnings were issued for 72 provinces, with fatalities reported in Batman, Zonguldak, and Diyarbakir.

Istanbul Governor Davut Gul highlighted significant flooding in the Black Sea town of Sile, affecting 210 homes and workplaces. The Marmara Sea faced destruction of fishing boats in Esenkoy and landslides due to heavy rain. Turkish Airlines cancelled numerous flights, and the Istanbul-Ankara highway experienced travel disruptions.

Bulgaria Struggles with Extreme Weather

Neighboring Bulgaria faced gale-force winds, heavy rain, and snow, leading to two fatalities and severe disruptions. A state of emergency was declared in Varna, where torrential rain mixed with snow and intense winds posed risks to the population. Fallen trees and power disruptions were reported across the city.

In Sofia, a man died after his van hit a fallen tree, and in Varna, a woman succumbed to injuries caused by a falling tree branch. Meteorologists issued warnings for dangerous weather, forecasting winds gusting up to 78mph.

As both countries grapple with the aftermath of these extreme weather events, the impact on maritime activities and daily life underscores the challenges posed by natural disasters in the region.

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