Violent storm spawns powerful tornado in Izmir, leaving 18 injured, Turkey

Violent storm spawns powerful tornado in Izmir, leaving 18 injured, Turkey

A violent storm produced damaging hail and a powerful tornado in Izmir, Turkey, on Thursday, February 11, 2021, leaving at least 18 people injured and dozens of homes damaged. Hailstorms also inflicted damage to nearly 700 greenhouses in the Urla area.

Downpours began Thursday, February 11, and became heavier at midnight.

A powerful waterspout formed in Cesme District, overturning a crane, knocking over some vehicles, and leaving about 18 people injured when it hit land.

Much of the injured victims were workers staying in prefabricated housing units at a construction site in Alcati when the crane collapsed on the units.

Izmir governor Yavuz Selim Kosger described the event as unprecedented.

"This was a very powerful tornado. We have just inspected the coastline. Several cars in the area were flung over the rooftop of houses and were found far as eight to 10 meters (33 feet) away from their parking spots," the governor said Friday.

"It’s clear there is significant damage," he continued. The tornado was brief, but very strong, according to officials.

In an area near Alacati Port, homes and businesses suffered significant damage, added Kosger. Nearly 700 greenhouses in the Urla area were severely damaged by hail.

Izmir mayor Tunc Soyer expressed similar concern over property damage. "The financial damage caused by the tornado that appeared near Cesme Alcati Port is significant."

Soyer and Kosger noted that all emergency crews were made available to assist affected people in the city. The outcome would have been worse if not for the curfew imposed against the COVID-19 outbreak, Soyer stated.

"People were mostly at home. Otherwise, there could be casualties. We have seen tiles from the roofs hurtling toward streets. [The tornado] is incredible. It lifted cars into the air and hurled them. I think this is nature's way of punishing us as we upset the balance of nature."

Another tornado caused damage in Ayvalik district of western Balikesir province.

According to initial reports, four roofs were torn off, windows were broken in 12 buildings, damage occurred to 20 vehicles and four boats sank, the Anadolu reports.

Featured image credit: START/YouTube


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