Heavy rains wreak havoc across most of country

Published 30.10.2010 12:39
Updated 19.01.2011 12:17

Torrential rain has been sweeping Turkey since Tuesday night, causing chaos for travelers and flooding homes.

A bout of wintry weather has slammed most parts of the country for the past few days, with high winds uprooting trees and rain flooding some roads as temperatures fell across the country.

In the western province of Çanakkale, torrential rain that began on Wednesday night led to flooding in houses and workplaces. Some vehicles were trapped in the flooded streets, making it impossible for people to travel by car. Sea travel was also disrupted, with ferries along the Çanakkale Strait cancelled due to a northwesterly wind.

Ankara has also been trying to cope with heavy rains. Torrential downpour began hitting the capital on Thursday night, almost paralyzing daily life. The İstanbul Highway was among the roads that flooded, with cars close to floating after the water level increased to one meter. Municipal workers were mobilized at points where heavy rains disrupted traffic, and the highway was subsequently closed. Many commuters were unable to get to work due to the water on the roads from overflowing streams and blocked drains.

In Bursa, Governor Şahabettin Harput said Bursa received 94 kilograms of rain per square meter over the course of one night. Speaking to reporters yesterday, the governor said no fatalities had been discovered but that there was minor flooding.

Two weeks ago in Bursa İsmail Güven, a resident on the ground floor of a flooded building, drowned when his home was inundated during heavy rain. Harput warned residents on the ground floors of buildings to exercise extra care.

İstanbul was also struck by a strong storm and heavy rain on Thursday, complete with high winds and torrential rainfall, forcing İstanbul Ferry Lines (İDO) to cancel ferries between Yalova and İstanbul. İDO said ferries between Bostancı and Adalar were also halted. Heavy rain disrupted traffic and paralyzed life in İstanbul yesterday, leading to traffic congestion in several districts. Officials said İstanbul has received 48 kilograms of rain per square meter since Thursday night. The continuous rains in İstanbul increased water levels in the city's reservoirs from 63.93 to 64.64 percent. Meteorologists say the rain will persist throughout the country for a couple of days and have issued flood, strong wind and lightning advisories.

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