Severe storms batter western, central Turkey

Severe storms batter western, central Turkey

A hospital’s roof, blown off by strong windstorm in Adana’s Tufanbeyli district on Wednesday, fell down on ambulances and caused much damage but injured no one. (PHOTOAA, MUSTAFA YILMAZ)

April 22, 2012, Sunday/ 12:18:00

Strong windstorms and rain swept across the western and central parts of Turkey on Wednesday and Thursday, killing at least four people, blowing the roofs off several houses and even shaking the Bosporus Bridge in İstanbul.

In Göynük, a district of the western province of Bolu, a man trying to repair a damaged roof died after being knocked over by strong winds and falling off the roof.

Strong winds claimed another life in the western province of Denizli when a man lost control of his motorcycle and crashed.

In Sakarya’s Sapanca district, two people died when the car they were in was blown off into a river due to the storm on Wednesday. The Bosporus Bridge was temporarily closed to traffic due to the storm, and the roof of İstanbul’s historic Grand Bazaar was also damaged on Wednesday. Most of the European side of the city was blanketed in dust. Several trees fell over in İstanbul’s Yenibosna neighborhood and traffic on the E-5 highway was temporarily halted.

The storm also forced the İstanbul Ferry Lines (İDO) to cancel ferries between Bostancı and Bakırköy as well as those between Bandırma and Yenikapı on Wednesday. A statement from the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality on Wednesday said they had received reports that the roofs of some 300 buildings were blown off and about 100 trees were knocked down. The statement added that the İstanbul Fire Department is on alert and that İstanbulites should be aware of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning as strong winds can block vents, preventing exhaust from being released. High-velocity winds delayed dozens of flights across the country. Turkish Airlines (THY) cancelled 43 domestic and international flights scheduled for Thursday due to adverse weather conditions.

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