Torrential rains and thunderstorms hit Istanbul and the capital Ankara

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Torrential rains and thunderstorms hit Istanbul and surrounding areas late Saturday night and continued into Sunday.

The heavy downpour flooded many streets and some low-lying areas of Turkey’s biggest metropolis.

Traffic in the city moved slower than usual due to unfavorable conditions on Sunday, while people on the streets took refuge at bus stops.

Istanbul’s Esenyurt, Beykoz, Üsküdar, Ümraniye, Sarıyer, Şile, Beşiktaş, Kağıthane, Şişli, Zeytinburnu, Bağcılar and Fatih neighborhoods were among the most affected neighborhoods in the city.

Parts of the Haramidere stream in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district flooded the surrounding area due to heavy rains.

As homes and workplaces by the river were flooded, police, firefighters, 112 emergency services and Esenyurt Municipality teams were carrying out search and rescue operations in the area.

Floodwaters closed 19 Mayıs Boulevard and surrounding streets to traffic and pedestrians. It also flooded the ground floor of a local mosque, trapping worshipers and people sheltering there from rising waters. They were then evacuated by search and rescue teams.

Turkey’s State Meteorological Service (TSMS) previously warned of heavy showers and thunderstorms for the Marmara region.

The capital Ankara was also hit by a heavy downpour on Saturday evening, according to reports.

Drivers and commuters found themselves stranded in multiple locations across the city after rain swamped the streets.

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