Major flooding hits the Turkish Black Sea region

Major flooding hits the Turkish Black Sea region

On September 3, 2023, torrential rain caused extensive flooding in the Black Sea region, particularly affecting the Turkish cities of Samsun and Giresun. Authorities had warned of the impending downpour, which led to significant disruptions and required emergency responses.

Following the heavy rainfalls, Samsun experienced severe flooding, inundating homes, businesses, and several critical streets and neighborhoods. Atatürk Boulevard, one of the city’s major roads, was closed due to flooding, transforming it into a virtual lake. Stranded vehicles and citizens in distress were evident throughout the area. The severity of the flooding surpassed the floods Samsun experienced earlier in June, leading to trapped residents, halted public transportation, and numerous emergency measures implemented by the municipality.

In just a span of six hours, Samsun received 147 mm (5.8 inches) of rain, resulting in road closures, overturned vehicles, and people being stranded in various parts of the city. Immediate flood response actions were taken, with teams dispatched to evacuate water from streets and remove blockages in channels and drains caused by debris and soil runoff.

noaa-20 viirs satellite image over turkey september 3 2023
Image credit: NOAA-20/VIIRS, The Watchers. Acquired on September 3, 2023
YouTube video

Mayor Mustafa Demir of Samsun addressed the situation, stating, “We have been actively responding to this major disaster from the outset. Our teams are on the ground, and we have thankfully avoided casualties. We are working tirelessly to restore normalcy as quickly as possible.”

Giresun also faced the consequences of the torrential rains. Streets in the city center were submerged, creating challenges for drivers navigating the floodwaters. Significant puddles formed, causing damage to ground-floor businesses and homes. A road that was initially closed due to the flooding, leading to Ordu and Trabzon, eventually reopened, albeit with controlled traffic, after extensive cleanup efforts by the municipality.

Ahead of the storm, the Turkish State Meteorological Service and the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) had issued warnings about the impending heavy precipitation, emphasizing the potential for widespread floods and destruction.

References:

1 Floods ravage Samsun, Giresun following torrential rain – Hurriyet Daily News – September 3, 2023

Featured image credit: Show Ana Harber (stillshot)

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