Four of the dead were in Turkey’s commercial hub Istanbul, home to 16 million people, and three of the injured are in serious condition. Trees were uprooted, roofs were blown off, mosque towers were toppled and an iconic clock tower was destroyed.
According to the Turkish Meteorological Department, winds reached 130 kilometers per hour (80 miles per hour) in one of the fiercest storms in the country’s living memory. Turkey regularly experiences southwesterly winds known as the Lodos winds, but their speeds on this occasion, along with the damage they cause, are unusual for the country.
More than 30 planes were diverted on Monday although most were diverted back to Istanbul on Tuesday. “Strong winds in Istanbul continue to negatively impact our operations. All of our teams are working hard for a safe and comfortable trip for our guests,” said Senior Vice President of Relations Media of Turkish Airlines Yahya Ustun said.
Ten cities have suspended schools and Istanbul has banned motorbikes. Maritime navigation along the Bosphorus is also closed to two-way sea traffic.