Ankara (July 28, 2017): A heavy rainfall hit Istanbul, causing fires and flash floods across the city, while the transportation in the city also came to a near halt following the heavy rainfall.
A fire broke out in the Haydarpaşa port when a crane toppled on an oil tanker, causing explosions. The fire was taken under control after firefighters arrived at the scene.
Separately, the wall of a cemetery in the Kurtuluş neighborhood of the Şişli district collapsed and there were reports of wounded people at the scene. At least two people were wounded after the collapse.
Another fire also broke out in the Kağıthane district when a lightning struck a store.
A historic plane tree in the Çengelköy neighborhood in the Üsküdar district that took root eight centuries ago, and has to date been used by locals as a meeting point, suffered in the face of the storm and toppled down. The minaret of a mosque in the Küçüçekmece district collapsed.
A flight that took off from Istanbul to the Ercan Airport in Turkish Cyprus was also damaged by the hail, which fractured the plane’s cockpit windows. Some subway stations were also flooded, while air traffic was also delayed by the rainfall.
Transportation on the Eurasia Tunnel, connecting Europe and Asia, was temporarily suspended due to the heavy rainfall. The two-way tunnel was later opened. Several underpasses, intersections and some metro and bus stops were closed, leaving thousands of pedestrians stranded.
The rainfall came nearly 10 days after another summer rainfall hit the city. The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality announced that some 228 trees tumbled down in the city and the roofs of some 88 buildings blew off as a result of the heavy rain.
According to the municipality’s statement, the rain lasted for about 20 to 25 minutes in the city, which received between 30 and 40 kilograms of rain per meter square. During the heavy rain, some 25 lightings stroke the city on average per minute, totaling 372.
In the first five minutes of the rain, fire departments received about 250 reports of flooding cases in the city. About 10 people, including two in critical condition, reportedly were taken to the Haydarpaşa Numune Hospital for treatment after receiving various injuries from the rain.
Meanwhile, the municipality said on July 27 the allegations of sewage water getting mixed with drinking water were baseless.