Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Extreme winds kill four people in Istanbul, governor's office says

Extreme winds kill four people in Istanbul, governor's office says

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Four people, including a foreign national, were died and 19 others hurt in Istanbul due to extreme winds across Turkey's biggest city and its surrounding regions, the governor's office said in a statement.

Strong winds of up to 130 km (81 miles) per hour were felt in Istanbul, according to the country's Meteorology General Directorate (MGM), with extreme conditions expected in nearby provinces like the western coastal city of Izmir. The MGM warned that the winds would continue.

"Due to the adverse weather conditions caused by southwesterly winds that have been effective in Istanbul since the morning, four people have lost their lives, one of whom was a foreign national and three were our citizens; 19 of our citizens were wounded, three of whom are in critical condition," the Istanbul Governor's office said in a statement.

The winds have knocked down parts of buildings, including concrete slabs off roofs and walls, according to footage, with pedestrians seen narrowly escaping the flying debris.

Turkey's flag-carrier Turkish Airlines reported disruptions to its flight schedule, while the Bosphorus has been closed to traffic from both directions.

Footage from Izmir also showed sea levels rising, with high waves crashing along the shores of the Aegean city, while roads appeared to have been overflowing with water.