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Friday, July 28, 2017

Injuries as hail stones as large as golf balls sweep Istanbul

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Rain, hail and high winds in Turkish city lead to floods, collapsed wall at cemetery and explosion at port

A severe summer storm in Istanbul has left at least three people injured, with heavy rain, hail and strong winds knocking down trees and a stone wall and flooding streets in the Turkish city.

The NTV television channel said part of a stone wall surrounding a cemetery for the Christian Armenian community had been demolished in Thursday’s storm, hurting two people. Footage showed rescue crews and residents helping each other to remove the stones, looking for people who may have been trapped beneath the rubble.

Winds also toppled a large crane that landed on oil barrels at a port, causing an explosion and a fire, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. At least one person was injured in the fire, which was later brought under control. A small depot also caught fire after being hit by lightning.

Heavy rainfall disrupted the evening rush hour traffic, stranding vehicles in flooded streets. Delays were reported at Istanbul’s main airport and some planes were diverted to other airports.

NTV showed people leaving a bus that was stranded in a flooded underpass and walking to safety through waist-high waters. Hail stones the size of golf balls damaged some windows and car windshields.

Turkish authorities temporarily closed down the Eurasia road tunnel, which connects Istanbul’s Asian and European sides under the Bosphorus strait, as a precaution.

It was the second time in 10 days that heavy rain inundated the streets of Istanbuland caused havoc in the metropolis.

Credit to theguardian.com

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