Deadly flash flooding hits northwestern Turkey

Friday, September 11, 2009

Marmara Region of Turkey.
Image: Rarelibra.

Heavy overnight rains flooded Istanbul, Turkey, stranding motorists and flooding arterial roads. The floods led to the death of at least 31 people and the cost of damage has been estimated as being in excess of $70 million in northwestern parts of the country.

The flood devastated businesses, swept away cars and swamped houses, roads, and farming land. Fueled by the worst rain in 80 years, waters rose up to six feet (2 meters) high in the city's İkitelli district, cutting off the route to Istanbul's main airport and the highway to Greece and Bulgaria on the European side of the sprawling city.

"We are saddened by the loss of lives. There are still some people missing and we are searching for them," said Mustafa Demir, the Turkish Procurement Minister, as quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

Over 1000 people have been rescued by emergency services, including military helicopters, since the floods began on Tuesday.


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