Istanbul, hail storm

Alert for floods and heavy storms in Istanbul

Heavy rains accompanied by storms and hail, with the appearance of even a waterspout, have caused chaos in the city.

Turkey’s General Directorate of Meteorology has issued an alert to all Istanbul residents for possible floods, after heavy rains accompanied by sudden hail storms that started around 11:00 a.m. local time (10: 00 CET) wreaked havoc in this metropolis of 16 million people.

Many streets and highways in various areas of the city were submerged by water, especially in the Silivri, Büyükçekmece, Çatalca and Arnavutköy districts outside of Istanbul, as well as several areas on the Asian side of the city around 12:30 noon. In Arnavutköy, even a waterspout was sighted, which caused panic among many residents of the district; in addition, several districts suffered from heavy walnut-sized hailstones, causing extensive damage.

In the Topkapı district, two cars and a minibus were submerged by floods and their occupants had to be rescued; in turn, in Arnavutköy, one of the most affected areas of the city, a market was completely flooded. The rainfall also caused numerous traffic problems and even the interruption of tram services on the Asian side of Istanbul.

Authorities have warned citizens that rainfall could continue throughout the day warning of floods and lightning strikes; furthermore, there could be hail precipitation again after midnight. Meteorologists have also warned residents near the Bosphorus Strait that they should park their vehicles in safe areas due to the possibility of more tornadoes and hail storms.

The warnings issued for Istanbul by meteorologists have also been extended to other cities in Turkey, including the capital, Ankara, where the governor of the province issued an alert on Tuesday for the arrival of floods and strong storms.