Lightning strike at Turkish hotel starts fire during ‘violent’ storm

Lightning strike at Turkish hotel starts fire during ‘violent’ storm

A lightning strike at a Turkish resort popular with British holidaymakers started a fire in a tree beside the pool.

The incident happened at around 4pm local time on Sunday 12 May at the five-star Voyage Sorgun hotel in the Turkish Riviera resort of Side. Hotel guests had already vacated the area and were not in any danger.

Paul Martin, from Grays in Essex, who is on holiday with his wife, two daughters and granddaughter, said it was the culmination of “a very violent thunderstorm”.

Mr Martin, 53, filmed the extremely intense downpour – and the effects of the lightning strike.

He told The Independent: “A lightning strike hit one of the palm trees by the main pool.

“All tourists had cleared the pool by this time, as it was rainy very heavily.”

His film shows the trunk of a palm tree ablaze as hotel staff move past it.

“There were no issues around safety. The team here were brilliant and extinguished the fire quickly with hoses. Thankfully no one was injured.

“We were in a safe location when it happened. It was really not scary, to be honest – just a shock that we’d ever see an actual lightning strike.

“Good news: it’s forecast to be sunny for the rest of next week.”

But the Turkish General Directorate of Meteorology is predicting further thunderstorms in south-central Turkey, around Adana, during Monday.

The authorities are warning of “sudden floods, floods, lightning, local hail, sudden strong winds and short-term storms, icing and freezing in high and mountainous areas, and transportation disruption”.

The Foreign Office has a specific section in its official travel advice for Turkey on “extreme weather and natural disasters”.

It warns: “Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides across Turkey, damaging roads and bridges. Some routes may become impassable, making it difficult to travel and reducing essential services.”

The FCDO advice also warns: “Wildfires happen frequently in Turkey during summer.”

Side, which has many significant archaeological sites as well as holiday hotels, is about 40 miles east of Antalya.