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Rainstorm Wreaks Havoc in Istanbul

Rainstorm Wreaks Havoc in Istanbul

Saturday, 17 August, 2019 - 17:00
Merchants wait for customers at the historical Grand Bazaar, known as the Covered Bazaar, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Asharq Al-Awsat
Heavy rains in Istanbul on Saturday flooded several neighborhoods, as well as the Grand Bazaar, stranding drivers on roads and disrupting rail and ferry services, while officials said one person was found dead in the Turkish city.

Rain started early in the day in parts of Istanbul and picked up pace around noon.

TV footage from parts of the historic Grand Bazaar — a sprawling complex of covered alleyways lined with shops- showed shopkeepers, ankle-deep in water, clearing the water out of their stores and the halls. It also showed water pouring out of a hole on the wall into the bazaar, as well as a manhole left open to drain the flood.

A homeless man was found dead in the Unkapani area on the European side of the city due to the flood, the spokesman for the Istanbul municipality said on Twitter.

Several roads across Istanbul, including parts of the road on the shores of the Bakirkoy district and a section of one of the city's main highways, had also been submerged, Istanbul municipality's Disaster Coordination Center (AKOM) said.

The rains also flooded an underpass where several shops are located in the Eminonu neighborhood, it said. Footage on Turkish media showed hundreds of books and goods floating in the water as shopkeepers submerged up to their waists worked to clear the area.

Authorities suspended ferry services across the Bosporus and some tram services were also halted.

A car was dragged into a pit caused by a collapsed road but its passengers escaped without injuries, Haberturk television reported.

AKOM said 114 kilograms of rain per square meter had fallen in the Fatih district, where the Grand Bazaar, as well as the Unkapani and Eminonu areas, are located.

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