Heavy rains and wildfire flail in Istanbul and Turkey’s Aegean coast. The waters submerged shopkeepers up to their waists and drowned one homeless one, whereas the fire inflicted no casualties, though left 500 hectares of land burned up.
Forest fires have consumed some 500 hectares (over 1,200 acres) of land in Izmir, Turkey’s Aegean coast, an official said on Monday.
On Sunday, the fires broke out in four different regions — including two in the southwestern Mugla province and others in Izmir province, according to Agriculture and Forest Ministry.
Speaking to reporters in Izmir, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said that the fire in Karabaglar district of Izmir has so far destroyed some 500 hectares of forestland and firefighters are still battling to contain the fire.
The fire in Urla, Izmir was almost contained and the cooling work was underway, Pakdemirli said.
He added that fires in Bodrum and Milas districts of Mugla were widely extinguished with the efforts of a 1,500-strong team.
A total of 24 helicopters, 280 water tankers and 35 bulldozers were battling the flames, he added.
Some villages in the region were evacuated and four houses were partly destroyed due to the flames, Pakdemirli said.
The official stressed that Turkey is among the best countries in firefighting, but it still needs to raise public awareness on the issue.
‘Fires generally break out due to negligence and carelessness,’ he said, and underlined the harm caused in the wildlife, vegetation and the loss of trees.
No casualties have been reported yet.
* Writing by Gozde Bayar”
“ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Strong rains in Istanbul on Saturday flooded several neighborhoods, as well as the Grand Bazaar, while officials said one person was found dead in the city.
Rain started early in the day in parts of Istanbul and picked up pace around noon.
Footage from parts of the Grand Bazaar 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 Centre (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.
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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