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Deadly floods, hail and rare tornado hit Istanbul, Turkey

deadly-floods-hail-rare-tornado-istanbul-june-2020

A severe storm accompanied by hail and a rare tornado hit Turkey's biggest city Istanbul on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, killing one person and injuring several others. 

Governor Ali Yerlikaya confirmed that the Syrian national, who was around 30 years old, was killed by flooding in Esenyurt, the district hit hardest by the heavy downpour.

Several others were injured but were eventually taken to local hospitals and are now in better condition. At least 10 people were stranded on the roof of a bus when inundations swept through the area.

In Sultangazi and Gaziosmanpasa, residents rushed to safety as rains and strong winds hit suddenly.

Flooding also affected the central Kagithane district, prompting people to seek shelter in bus stops and shops. Several cars were left abandoned and floating across the streets.

Strong winds and giant waves pounded coastal areas in Yenikape and Maltepe, on the opposite sides of the city. 

In Besiktas, a local correspondent who reported the severe weather on a live broadcast was injured after being hit by a tree branch.

A local shop was badly affected, with sellers trying to save their goods and move to safety.

On the European side of the city, a waterspout damaged some houses in the Catalca district. One of the buildings lost its fence and roof, and an electrical pole was downed due to powerful winds.

Meanwhile, a rare tornado formed off the western districts of the city. The phenomenon was captured as citizens were already fleeing the violent hailstorms.

Tornadoes, although not unknown in Turkey, have only occurred 59 times between 1980 to 2013, according to the State Meteorological Service.

On June 21, severe flash floods killed at least five people in Bursa Province, about 91 km (57 miles) from Istanbul. Floodwaters caused major damage to houses, vehicles, and crops.

Featured image credit: Searching Sleuth

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