At least six people were killed and 52 were injured after extreme wind storms swept through Turkey on Monday and continued to wreak havoc on parts of the country on Tuesday.
Four of the fatalities were in Turkey’s commercial hub of Istanbul, home to 16 million people, and three of the injured are in serious condition. Trees were uprooted, many rooftops were blown away, mosque minarets were toppled and an iconic clock tower was destroyed.
Doomsday? Awful severe winds hit Istanbul, Turkey pic.twitter.com/tIX5ZtPzfN— #كابتن_غازي_عبداللطيف (@CaptainGhazi) November 30, 2021
“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.
According to Turkey’s Meteorology General Directorate, winds reached 130 kilometers per hour (80 miles per hour) in one of the country’s most aggressive windstorms in living memory. Turkey frequently has southwesterly winds known as Lodos winds, but their speed on this occasion, along with the damage they have caused is unusual for the country.
Just look at the furious winds! Like a bomb explosion!
🇹🇷 There is a strong #hurricane wind in #Istanbul that overturns cars, rips off roofs from houses and knocks over structures. According to Turkish media, there are already casualties: two people were ki!!ed when the roof of a house was torn off, #Turkey pic.twitter.com/I6KhQAbXul— Cyber_Viper☢️ (@Kaala_Nag) November 29, 2021
More than 30 planes were diverted on Monday though most were rerouted back to Istanbul on Tuesday.
Today ,Ethiopian Airlines B737-800, which was waiting at Istanbul Airport, was blown away due to the wind (55-60 knots per hour) that affected İstanbul.— HavaSosyalMedya® 🛫 (@HavaSosyalMedya) November 29, 2021
Materials found at various points of the airport were also thrown at the apron and part of roofs were torn off. pic.twitter.com/lcKz5qZQOx
“The strong wind in Istanbul continues to negatively impact our operations. All our teams are working hard for the safe and comfortable travel of our guests,” Turkish Airlines Senior Vice President of Media Relations Yahya Ustun said.