Image: Road cut off by floods
Ibrahim Usta  /  AP
Flash flooding destroyed this stretch of road in Selimpasa, a suburb on Istanbul, Turkey.
updated 9/8/2009 3:20:31 PM ET 2009-09-08T19:20:31

Flash floods triggered by torrential rains killed eight people and left swaths of land in northwestern Turkey awash Tuesday. At least three people were reported missing.

Nazmi Coban, the mayor of the town of Saray, said rescue workers there recovered the bodies of a mother and her three daughters, and were still searching for the father who was swept away by floods.

Rescuers also found the bodies of an elderly couple whose house collapsed in the floods, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported. Saray is in Tekirdag province, close to the border with Greece.

Two bodies were discovered in the Istanbul suburb of Catalca, local Mayor Yuksel Ayhan told private NTV television.

Heavy rains that began late Monday washed away bridges and roads, and inundated hundreds of homes in the region. Dozens of farm animals were swept away by gushing waters.

Heavy rains caused floods in Istanbul’s seaside Silivri suburb, as well, and two people were reported missing. One was a girl whose mother and sister managed to get out of a car safely before the girl was dragged away by the floods, Istanbul Gov. Muammer Guler said.

In Silivri, police and military helicopters were sent to rescue people confined to their homes, according to television footage. Dozens of cars were swept away, some ending up in the sea. A fire truck could be seen lying on its side.

People climbed on top of rooftops waiting to be rescued, NTV reported.

Two international highways linking Istanbul to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria were closed temporarily, Anatolia reported.

On Monday, a Cambodia-flagged freighter broke into two and sank in heavy storms off the Black Sea coast of Istanbul. All 12 crew members were rescued.

More rain was forecast for the area Wednesday.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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