Turkey braces for Medicane, first hurricane in its modern history
This file photo shows lightning striking over sunlit rocky island during thunderstorm on Aegean Sea near Marmaris, Turkey. Photo: Aygul Sarvarova / Alamy
A tropical storm formed in the Central Mediterranean is expected to gain strength and move east in the coming days, the state-run Meteorological General Directorate said in a statement on Sept. 27.
Dr. Murat Gündüz, an academic from Dokuz Eylül University (DEU) in the western Turkish province of İzmir told local media the storm is expected to turn into a hurricane on Sept. 28 before hitting Greece and Turkey on the weekend.
Dubbed “Medicane” as a combination of the words “Mediterranean” and “hurricane,” the system is expected to bring winds as fast as 180 kilometers per hour when landfalling in Greece.
After slowing down to 75-120 km per hour on the Greek mainland, the hurricane is expected to hit Turkey’s western coasts, bringing 75 kilograms of rainfall per square meter.
“It will arrive in İzmir on Sept. 30 evening or the morning of Oct. 1. Our predictive models suggest Turkish coasts from the south of İzmir to Antalya will be affected,” Gündüz said, stressing that a Mediterranean hurricane is “a very rare phenomenon.”
It will be the first hurricane in Turkey’s modern history and only around a dozen of them have been recorded in past centuries.
“European countries around the Mediterranean have no official agencies to monitor hurricanes. It is expected we will see more of them in the future due to climate change and we need centers to monitor them,” said Gündüz.
“There is no need for fear or anxiety but we should take precautions,” he said.