Four people were killed in floods in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus yesterday, following heavy rainfall and hail. Local media said the victims were four people between the ages of 18 and 23 and all were in a car that was swept away during heavy rain late on Wednesday.
It was one of the heaviest rainfalls in recent memory and Turkish troops on the island joined search and rescue efforts. Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman told reporters that they expected more rainfall and said they were taking measures.
Flash flooding from an isolated downpour is not uncommon on the island, but sustained floods are rare.
"In minutes, it's gone from beautiful sunshine to freezing cold with rumbles of thunder in the distance," one Northern Cyprus resident told Reuters. People were sewing sandbags to prevent water seeping through window seals and under doors, she said.
Images on social media showed cars being swept into the sea or submerged in flood water and water gushing through homes. Rivers burst their banks, causing damage in the Cypriot capital Lefkoşa and forcing the partial closure of a motorway linking the city to Grine, a historic harbor town on the northern coast.