Heavy rainfall floods parts of Turkey’s İzmir twice in 7 days
Turkey’s third-largest city of İzmir has been battered by heavy rainfall once more since last week.
Torrential rains caused flash floods in the city with a population of around 4 million, blocking main roadways in downtown areas and surrounding districts.
The floods were particularly devastating in the Konak, Balçova, and Bayraklı districts, where waters of the Aegean Sea overflowed city’s shores and swept through the streets, submerging vehicles.
Firefighters were immediately dispatched but had difficulty reaching the affected areas as debris brought by floods blocked roads.
Heavy rains and flash floods killed at least one person, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. A second person is reported missing.
The two individuals were trapped inside a vehicle that was swept away by rising water in the town of Menderes, Anadolu Agency reported.
The region was hit by 1 1/2 times more rain in 10 hours than the average rainfall for all of February, Anadolu Agency quoted İzmir Gov. Yavuz Selim Kosger as saying. The downpour was expected to continue until Feb. 3.
Fire trucks blared sirens to wake up people who were sleeping when abrupt rainfall turned into flash floods, calling on the public to save their cars from getting submerged.
Some locals rushed to clear floodwaters from shops and ground-floor residences in several neighborhoods.
The suburban train running between Aliağa and Cumaovası also suspended its services at 7:30 am due to adverse weather conditions.
Calling the situation to be a disaster, Izmir Municipality urged residents not to leave their homes unless necessary.
Heavy rainfall and floods have disrupted traffic in the province, İzmir Mayor Tunç Soyer said, noting that the city’s Güzelyalı neighborhood witnessed rainfall of 113 kilograms per square meter in only six hours.
Soyer also noted that the city received 18 percent of its average annual rainfall overnight.
Meanwhile, İzmir Governor’s Office has announced that 673 homes and workplaces were flooded, and 23 people were stranded in the province due to heavy rains.
Some 80 percent of floods took place in residential areas and 20 percent in workplace areas, the office added.
Meteorology authorities had earlier issued an “orange warning” for İzmir, given only in case of a possibility of severe weather conditions.
Rains would slow down in the province as of Feb. 3, and no new precipitation is likely to appear for the next four or five days, experts have said.