Edirne braces for flood with rapid flow rate increase
EDİRNE – Anadolu Agency
DHA PhotoThe levels of the Tundzha and Maritsa (Tunca and Meriç) rivers passing through the Turkish city of Edirne, which borders Bulgaria, have seen a sudden and rapid rise, with the local authorities taking measures against potential flooding.
The Tundzha and Maritsa continued to rise at an alarming rate on March 9, amid snowfall in neighboring Bulgaria and heavy rain gripping Edirne.
With the recent water level increase, the Maritsa River flows at 1,186 cubic meters per second, while the Tundzha flows at a rate of 244 cubic meters per second, according to Turkey’s General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSİ).
The Maritsa’s flow rate has tripled over the past 72 hours, the DSİ has stated.
Although flooding of buildings was not reported in the city as of March 9, land around Edirne’s Sarayiçi, Adalet Kasrı, and Kırkpınar districts has been flooded.
The rapid increase in the rivers’ flow rates paralyzed daily life, with river waters flooding into the center of Edirne and its Kırkpınar Square, where an annual oil wrestling festival is held.
Two historic bridges, the Fatih and the Kanuni, which connect the city center with the Sarayiçi neighborhood, have been closed to traffic, while businesses on the riverside have begun to take precautions against flooding.
The Yalnızgöz Bridge on the Tundzha River has also been blocked to traffic, as it was overwhelmed by the river’s water. The entrance of the Tunca Bridge, which connects the city with the Karaağaç neighborhood, has been partially flooded. The authorities said the river might be blocked to the traffic any time.
Stray dogs are also stranded in a rural area where the roads are blocked due to the flood, waiting for rescue.
Angry residents have reiterated their demand for a solution to end such overflows, which they encounter every year.
Last month, the Meriç River saw its highest flow rate in the last 31 years, causing more overflows around the city. Some neighborhoods remained inaccessible for three days and rescue helicopters had to be used for emergency use.