Several provinces across Turkey, including the capital city Ankara, were hit by flash floods triggered by heavy rain on Thursday and Friday that have resulted in one death.
A 9-year-old boy, Ali Kılıç, drowned in a flood in the Atkaracalar district of the Central Anatolian province of Çankırı. He was caught up in flood along with his father Salih Kılıç and his sister Hülya. His father managed to climb a tree with Hülya, but was not able to rescue his son. An excavator sent to the flood area rescued Salih and Hülya Kılıç from the tree where they were trapped. The body of Ali Kılıç was found by rescue workers two kilometers away.
Heavy rain wreaked havoc in the Turkish capital as well. Ankara's Batıkent neighborhood was flooded and people were seen trying to walk and drive cars through the water after a heavy downpour lasting 45 minutes on Thursday afternoon. Heavy rain also significantly disrupted traffic and daily life in adjacent neighborhoods. The ground floors of more than 50 houses were inundated with water due to the rain. Emergency rescue teams from Yenimahalle Municipality pumped water from houses with vacuum trucks. The Ankara Metro's Batıkent station, which is underground, was also flooded when rainwater leaked into the station. Unusual photos showing people seeking shelter from the rain and people opening their umbrellas in the underground station hit social media yesterday.
Ankara Metropolitan Mayor Melih Gökçek, who is an avid Twitter user, did not make any comments or respond to Twitter users' questions about the floods in Ankara when they reminded him that he had previously made fun of flood-hit İzmir and blamed the opposition-led municipality for the disaster.
In the Black Sea province of Zonguldak, 16 villages were unreachable due to a landslide triggered by heavy rain and five villages were almost submerged. The Güneşli and Alaplı rivers in Zonguldak's Ereğli district became swollen by rainfall and several villages were inundated with the rainwater overflowing from the river. Süleyman Acar from the village of Çaylıoğlu told the private Cihan news agency that people escaped the flood by climbing on the roofs of their houses and waiting to be rescued. Some villagers felt faint and were treated by health care teams. The gendarmerie station in the village also became inundated and was evacuated. Rescue helicopters were unable to reach the region because of heavy rain and smog and traffic was halted on the Zonguldak-Ankara highway for a couple of hours due to the water overflow from the Asma stream.
In Bartın, a province bordering Zonguldak, more than 100 houses and workplaces were flooded when 50 liters of rain per square meter fell in the city over a period of one hour. Emergency rescue teams pumped the water from houses and workplaces with vacuum trucks. Due to the overflow of the Gecen stream, some police officers were not able to go to the police station where they work. Traffic on the Bartın-Ankara highway was also halted due to flash floods. Municipal workers were able to open the highway after working for one hour.
Heavy rain also affected the southern city of Adana, where hundreds of houses and workplaces flooded. The flood caused traffic congestion in many points in the city center as floods rose to a height of 50 centimeters. Drivers were stuck in their cars for hours, while pedestrians barely escaped from the flood by taking shelter in shops.
State meteorology officials warned that İstanbul and several Black Sea provinces as well as the southern provinces of Adana, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş and Osmaniye will be hit by heavy rain over the weekend.
İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality's emergency teams have been placed on high alert, with 40 liters of rain per square meter expected to fall.
Heavy rain hits several cities across Turkey, causes one death
Locals talk about how to rescue their cars, which had gotten stuck in mud near the Akçakoca tunnel in Zonguldak province after heavy rain on Friday. (Photo: DHA)
June 06, 2014, Friday/ 18:35:30/ TODAY'S ZAMAN | ANKARA