Turkey, rain and wind storm

2 dead, several injured, due to strong windstorm in Istanbul

Winds of up to 130 km/h have caused serious damage to the city. The whole of western Turkey is on a meteorological alert due to storm.

The strong windstorm hitting Istanbul and other Turkish provinces caused at least two deaths and several injured in some districts of the Turkish metropolis, while a construction worker was also killed when a wall fell on him in Zonguldak province. Winds, exceeding 100 km/h, have also caused waves of several metres in cities such as İzmir, and toppled trees and blown roofs in Bursa.

The orange-level meteorological alert – the second most important on the scale – issued by Turkey’s state meteorological agency currently covers 17 provinces, while another 35 provinces in the country are on yellow alert. Since this morning, the strong winds have affected especially to the provinces of Istanbul, Edirne, Kırklareli, Tekirdağ, Kocaeli, Sakarya and Yalova.

The agency issued a forecast of torrential rains and heavy storms throughout the Marmara region as well as in the Aegean, Western Mediterranean, Western Black Sea and northwest Central Anatolia regions, including Ankara, where the rain and wind storm will be followed by snowfall in the coming days.

In Istanbul, the gale unleashed waves that reached up to 3 metres high in several areas of the coast, especially in Caddebostan, on the Asian side of the city, while temperatures plummeted by at least 10 degrees, according to meteorologists.

Since this Monday morning, the storm caused muddy rain precipitations throughout the city, accompanied by winds that reached 130 km/h in districts such as Beylikdüzü, on the European side of Istanbul, where they also unleashed large waves and flooding from the promenade in the coastal district of Avcılar.

In the municipality of Çatalca, on the outskirts of Istanbul, wind knocked down a tower with a clock, also causing several trucks traveling on a highway that passes nearby to overturn, fortunately without causing injuries but triggering significant traffic problems.

In the European district of Esenyurt, a woman died after a roof fell on her while she was walking down the street, causing her serious injuries that ultimately ended her life. Further east, in Sultangazi, another woman died from the same causes.

Also in Arnavutköy, a residential neighbourhood located on the shores of the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, there were moments of panic and tension when the wind tore off a roof, with the consequent risk for pedestrians.

The wind and rain storm also led the authorities to temporarily prohibit the movement of motorcycles across the first bridge over the Bosphorus Strait, forcing dozens of motorists to wait helplessly in the rain.

In Bursa, in Northwestern Turkey, the wind reached speeds of about 80 kilometres per hour and also caused the demolition of trees, walls and light poles, tore roofs, and caused significant traffic problems, and even the interruption of the tram service when a roof fell on one of the vehicles.

In addition to Istanbul, Turkey’s most populous city, the strong windstorm also wreaked havoc in İzmir, the country’s third largest city, unleashing large waves that penetrated inland into the Karşıyaka district, north of the İzmir bay, causing the suspension of the tram line as well as all maritime connections with the city. The rain also flooded tunnels, streets and highways, as well as homes and shops, seriously complicating traffic.