A Freak Thunderstorm in Istanbul Came Straight Out of a Sci-Fi Movie

Thunderstorm

You have to watch it to believe it.

An unusually fierce thunderstorm hit Istanbul on Thursday night, transforming city streets into rivers and pounding the area with hail so large it damaged parked aircraft at the international airport.

The summer storm led to downed trees, a partially destroyed stone wall, and a port explosion, according to The Associated Press.

Hail pelted the ground as the rain intensified, and even cracked car windows, according to social media posts.

According to the AP, a crane fell onto oil barrels at a port, leading to the explosion and subsequent fire. It led to at least one injury.

The storm brought the Turkish metropolis to a standstill at rush hour, even closing the Eurasia Tunnel, which connects Asia with Europe under the Bosporus strait. It’s the second time in a little more than a week that a violent deluge has disrupted the city.

While severe thunderstorms are local events subject to natural variability, climate change is already increasing the odds of heavy downpours around the world. This trend is expected to continue during the next few decades, with more rain falling in shorter, heavier bursts in many parts of the world. This will challenge the capacity of cities like Istanbul to adapt to more frequent flash flood events.

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