Extreme weather conditions grip Turkey’s west
Istanbul’s western and northern outskirts were partly covered in snow on Feb. 12 following warnings from both meteorological and local authorities.
Snowfall was partially effective in districts located in the far west of the metropolis such as Beylikdüzü, Büyükçekmece, Çatalca and Silivri.
But heavy snowfall may cripple life in Istanbul and neighboring provinces starting from Feb. 13 and it will continue until the beginning of the week, according to a report from Milliyet daily.
Cold weather hailing from the Balkans will hit Turkey, particularly Istanbul where “the depth of snow will reach as high as one meter,” says the report, based on an estimate modeled on the Global Environmental Multiscale Model (GEM) for Canada.
But Turkey’s State Meteorological Service officials said a repeat of the 1987 winter when Istanbul was hit by a heavy snowfall for 18 hours on days between February and March is out of question in the face of reports and rumors.
They stated that a cold weather and snowfall will be effective in much of northwestern Turkey and higher altitude regions throughout the country’s western provinces, adding that it may last for five to six days.
Severe winter conditions will replace a 10-day dry and relatively warm spell in the city.
Authorities also warned drivers about slippery, snowy roads and advised them to take the necessary precautions as snowfall and cold weather are expected to continue well into the weekend.
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality will deploy 1,351 vehicles, including snowplows and bulldozers, and 7,031 personnel to clear roads.
The city is also on alert for strong winds whose speeds are expected to reach up to 60 kilometers per hour on the following days.
Storm, tornado in Aegean coast
Meanwhile, a number of people suffered injuries on Feb. 11 when a violent storm struck the western province of İzmir, according to an official.
İzmir Governor Yavuz Selim Köşger said 16 people were slightly injured due to a waterspout in the Cesme district.
Köşger said on social media that the Alaçatı neighborhood in Çeşme as well as Urla district experienced strong rain, hail and a waterspout on Feb. 11 night.
The waterspout, which formed in the Alaçatı Port area, caused damage by overturning a crane and knocking over some vehicles.
Ünal Çakıcı, the district governor of Çeşme, said that one person’s leg was broken and 15 people suffered light injuries.
Separately, a tornado caused damage in the Ayvalık district of the western province of Balıkesir.
According to initial reports, four roofs were torn off, windows were broken in 12 buildings, damage occurred on 20 vehicles and four boats sank.
Waterspouts and tornadoes are not unknown in Turkey, occurring mainly in the country’s south.
Between 1980 and 2013, a total of 59 tornadoes were recorded across Turkey, according to the State Meteorological Service.