“The country is going through an extraordinary period and everyone is working hand in hand to recover from the damage caused by the flooding”, Prime Minister Tufan Erhurman has said.
Speaking at a press conference following a meeting at the Disaster and Emergency Coordination Centre on Friday, Erhurman expressed his sadness over the loss of lives.
Erhurman said that he had inspected the damage caused by the flooding in Kyrenia and the surrounding areas. The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority in Turkey (AFAD) had offered the TRNC full support and assistance, he said. The prime minister added that the TRNC civil defence organisation had been notified and that they will ask for assistance if any is required.
Pointing out that there was serious damage to property in the villages of Alsancak and Lapta, Erhurman said: “Most of the damage caused in the Alsancak area was the result of stream beds being inadequate to cope with the flow of water. We discussed the matter with the mayor and asked him to carry out the necessary work immediately to expand, improve or clear the stream beds. We were told that several problems had been experienced in the past due to the fact some private property owners in the area had not allowed the municipality to carry out such work. Private property owners must make sacrifices at some point for the good of the public. We told the mayor that the central government will give the necessary support for the work to be carried out”.
Erhurman further pointed out that there was extensive damage in Dikmen, a village lying at the foot of the Besparmak Mountains on the Nicosia side, as well despite the fact the municipality had constructed walls on the banks of the stream beds. “We shall somehow compensate or cover the costs of the damage caused to property but it is impossible to bring back the lives we have lost. This is our greatest sorrow. Our greatest effort from this point onward will be to ensure that nothing like this happens again. I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Let us work all together to overcome this disaster in the quickest way possible”, he said.
The prime minister also announced that all schools would remain closed for another day due to the extent of damage in some schools and the continuing unstable weather conditions.