Istanbul floods bring death and destruction

Istanbul floods bring death and destruction

Flash floods killed at least 20 people in Istanbul in Turkey today.

Fuelled by the worst rain in decades, waters rose more than three feet in the city's Ikitelli district, cutting off the airport.

Eight other people were still missing and 20 others injured.

Stranded motorists desperately climbed onto the roofs of their vehicles, hoping to be rescued. Hikmet Cakmak, Istanbul's deputy governor, described the scene as a "disaster" and said four helicopters and eight boats were sent to help rescue people.

Istanbul firefighters recovered seven bodies at a truck park in Ikitelli.

Seven others were found outside a textiles factory in the nearby district of Halkali.

The heavy rains caused two Istanbul streams to overflow, also inundating dozens of homes and workplaces.

Rapid population growth - fuelled by decades of emigration from Turkey's impoverished rural regions - has meant that the metropolis of 15 million has developed without adequate infrastructure and poor city planning.

Istanbul's Ataturk Airport was not affected by the floods, and flights went ahead as normal. However, many passengers could not reach the airport or leave it once they arrived.

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