Heavy snowfall blankets Turkey’s east in mid-April
“People swim at the Aegean coasts, we are shoveling snow here in April,” Güven Öztürk, a resident of Kars, told Demirören News Agency on April 13.
According to locals, the cold and rainy weather turned into snowfall late on April 12, with people in the city waking up to a blanket of snow.
“This is the first time I see snow in April in my city,” noted Mehmet Aşasın, another local.
Following hot days, a cold-weather wave from the Balkans entered Turkey on April 11, with temperatures dropping by an average of 10 degrees Celsius across the country.
“The snowfall and the risk of frost in the east will continue until April 17,” the Turkish State Meteorological Service warned.
Snowfall also gripped the center of the eastern province of Bingöl, as the snow depth reached 5 centimeters, bringing life in the city to a halt on April 13.
With the latest snow, the snow depth on the highway between the eastern province of Van and its district Bahçesaray reached 6 meters.
The highway, mostly known for being closed due to snow and avalanches in winters for long terms, was closed due to heavy snowfall in the middle of January.
After 36 days of closure, the road was finally opened on Feb. 21 following snow removal efforts by municipal workers. But it only lasted for two days as two avalanches closed the road again.
Workers on April 13 were struggling to shovel the snow off the roads with heavy vehicles when a new snowfall wave began. “Only a kilometer of the road can be shoveled in one and a half hours due to hard conditions,” officials said.
Authorities advised locals to use another road connecting the city to Bingöl until the road opens again.