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Severe Flooding in Turkey Kills at Least 28

September 9, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox

CNN is reporting that two days of steady rain have caused flash floods in northwestern Turkey, sweeping cars into the sea and sending gushing water into homes and businesses.

The flooding left at least 28 people dead Wednesday—23 in Istanbul province and five in neighboring Tekirdag province—according to provincial officials. Another two people were feared dead in Tekirdag province. Among the fatalities in Istanbul were seven female textile workers who were trapped in their minivan, CNN sister network CNN Turk reported.

Witnesses in the city of Istanbul said the flash floods hit at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, washing through an industrial zone situated in a low-lying valley. Dozens of cargo trucks flipped over or were ripped to pieces, the wreckage attracting crowds who watched the chaotic scene from nearby hilltops.

Several roads in Istanbul city remained closed, including the airport road, CNN Turk said. Rescue missions were in full swing with military helicopters whirring overhead. Residents were advised not to wander from their homes.

Zafer Ercan, deputy mayor of the town of Silivri, an hour west of Istanbul city, said that more than 200 cars were washed into the Marmara Sea and 800 homes and businesses were flooded in the neighboring town of Selimpasa. The rain stopped Tuesday evening, but resumed early Wednesday. Heavy overnight rain flooded western neighborhoods in Istanbul city.

The amount of rain that has fallen in two days roughly equals what normally falls in six months in the Turkish province, Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler told the state-run Anatolia News Agency. More rain is predicted for the rest of the week.

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