Summer storm hits Istanbul, causing floods and traffic jams

A severe summer storm has hit Istanbul, with reports of heavy rains flooding the Turkish city's streets and underpasses and hail damaging windows and knocking down trees.

The rainfall on Thursday disrupted the evening rush hour traffic, stranding vehicles in flooded streets. Delays were reported at the city's main airport.

NTV television showed people leaving a bus stranded in an underpass before walking to safety in waist-high waters. It said a large crane toppled at a port, causing a fire that was later brought under control.

Media reports said authorities closed down the Eurasia Tunnel, which connects Istanbul's Asian and European sides under the Bosporus strait, as a precaution.

It was the second time in 10 days that heavy rainfall inundated streets and caused havoc.