Heavy rain lashes İstanbul, gridlocks traffic

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A man stands next to a car in a flooded street at the Bayrampasa metro station on July 18, 2017 in Istanbul, following a heavy rainfall. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Traffic was gridlocked and cars were stranded on surface streets and highways on Tuesday due to heavy rains that inundated İstanbul.

Minister of Forest and Water Management Veysel Eroğlu, who said one-fourth of the rain that falls in one year is currently falling in a 24-hour period, warned people not to go out unless necessary.

The rain that started pouring after midnight flooded many places, including some of the metro stations and metro stops, and led to traffic congestion blocking the flow of public transportation.

Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş said they were evacuating the districts affected by rainfall.

Many intersections and viaducts were flooded by the rain. Some of the metros and metro buses were also filled with water.

The Istanbul Governor’s office issued a statement warning İstanbul residents not to use their own vehicles in an attempt to limit traffic congestion.

Air transportation was also negatively affected by the heavy rainfall, which is estimated to be 65 kg per square meter.

The Eurasia Tunnel, crossing underneath the Bosphorus Strait, was temporarily closed to traffic.

Minister of Transportation Ahmet Arslan said it was a disaster and that the tunnel would be opened again after water was drained from the tunnel.

The Disaster Coordination Center (AKOM) warned İstanbul residents against the floods since increased heavy rainfall was expected throughout the day until the evening hours.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – JULY 18: A view of D-100 highway after heavy rains hit Merter neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey on July 18, 2017. AFP
ISTANBUL, TURKEY – JULY 18: A view of D-100 highway after heavy rains hit Merter neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey on July 18, 2017. AFP
ISTANBUL, TURKEY – JULY 18: A view of streets after heavy rains hit Unkapani neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey on July 18, 2017. AFP

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