A month of rain fell in two hours on Istanbul on July 18, 2017.
The resulting flash floods disrupted the subway trafic, stranded cars in inundated streets and cut power in several business and homes. Meteorologists say it was the most severe rainfall in the past 32 years and one of the worst natural disasters linked to rainfall in Istanbul in recent memory.
What started as a midnight shower turned into a heavy rainfall by Tuesday morning in Istanbul, triggering flash floods across the country’s most populated city, disrupting daily life, leaving motorists stranded in their cars and interrupting metro and bus services during morning rush hour. Here a video showing a bus filling up with water:
An amount of rainfall normally seen in a one-month period hit the city in just a couple of hours. According to Doğan News Agency, it was the most severe rainfall in the past 32 years, with 128 kilograms (282 pounds) of rainwater. Average rainfall for July so far was 32.5 kilograms per square meter. The rain was accompanied by winds blowing up to 80 kilometers per hour. No casualties have been reported.
Numerous buildings, offices and shops were flooded and several people were trapped in their cars and homes due to the deluge. Images on social media showed some drivers and pedestrians in the Aksaray and Üsküdar districts swimming their way to the other side of the road on some streets with their heads barely seen above the floodwaters.
Flooding in some metrobus and metro stations led to disruptions, while the Eurasia Tunnel, which connects the Asian and European sides of Istanbul under the Bosporus Strait, was temporarily closed to traffic in the Europe direction.
Services have been partially suspended on different metro lines and tram lines as several stations and tracks were flooded. Istanbul Sea Buses canceled several ferry services in the Marmara Sea.
— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) July 18, 2017
The last destructive rainstorms happened in 2009. Although less severe, 31 people were killed during the the deluge – mostly motorists and passengers trapped in vehicles. Keep safe and try to avoid walking near electrical poles or under trees.