Turkey alarms at highest level, expects heavy rain in flood-hit Istanbul

Disaster Response Coordination Center has been alarmed at the highest level for another heavy rain in Turkey's crowdest city of Istanbul.

Turkey alarms at highest level, expects heavy rain in flood-hit Istanbul

World Bulletin / News Desk

Metropolitan Municipality Disaster Response Coordination Center (AKOM) has been alarmed on Friday at the highest level for another heavy rain in Turkey's crowdest city of Istanbul.

State Meeorology Directorate announced that they ecpected a new havy rain as Friday evening in İstanbul. They also sais that the rains would continue during Saturday.

Rescue teams were deployed in the risky areas of European and Anatolian sides of the city . In case of excessive rainfall, 2 thousand 220 personnel tools and 6 thousand 370 are in the field on critical areas.

The death toll shocked Turkey and brought calls for better city planning and supervision by the government, which said this was a natural disaster stemming from the heaviest rainfall in the last 80 years.

Mayor Kadir Topbas urged Istanbul residents to stay home at the weekend due to the danger of new flash floods.

Topbas pledged to rebuild areas hit by flash floods that killed 26 people.

Special Teams

"The State Waterworks Authority and the Istanbul Water and Sewage Authority will focus very intensively on the river basins to solve the problems in those areas," Mayor Kadir Topbas told a news conference.

Scenes of white blankets covering bodies of seven women drowned in a window-less company van carrying them to work infuriated Turks. Newspapers reported on Friday that the police arrested the women's employer for causing death.

Healt Directorate will send a 23-personnels medical team, including doctors, nurses, psychologists to flood-hit districts.

AKOM said that food tents and shields were built for people who was effected by flood.

Critics say the government, municipality and police were ill prepared despite knowing heavy rain was forecast.

A total of 32 people died in the floods on Tuesday and Wednesday, most in central Istanbul.

Pictures of commuters stranded in water-swamped highways near Ataturk Airport weeks.

But Istanbul's ancient district of Sultanahmet, with its famous mosques, waterfront palaces the historic Beyoglu area of narrow streets were largely unaffected.

Topbas, a ruling AK Party member and serving his second term as mayor, came under fire when he blamed global warming for the floods in Istanbul. His critics said the disaster was avoidable and called for his resignation.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan blamed illegal construction for the disaster.

Last Mod: 11 Eylül 2009, 16:32
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