Heavy storms, snowfall cripple life in Istanbul

Heavy storms, snowfall cripple life in Istanbul

Heavy storms, snowfall cripple life in Istanbul

A new cold wave from Siberia has gripped the country’s largest metropolitan city of Istanbul, paralyzing life and forcing schools to close.

Expected for days in Istanbul, the snowfall started early on Feb. 5 in the coastal and high parts of the megacity. A snow blizzard hit Taksim Square in the evening hours, giving a hard time to citizens.

Some services of Istanbul Sea Buses (İDO) and Bursa Sea Buses (BUDO) were also canceled due to snowfall and storms that disrupted daily life in Çatalca, Silivri and Kartal districts the most.

Turkish Airlines also canceled more than 230 flights in two days. The Sabiha Gökçen Airport’s meteorological emergency committee decided to reduce flights in a meeting.

The storm blew the panels in the cooling system of a private hospital in the Bahçelievler district into the parking lot of the adjacent building, damaging five vehicles. The iron railings on the terrace of the Galata Tower were also broken due to the storm in the Beyoğlu district. While the guardrails were tied with ropes by the firefighters, precautions were taken around the tower.

“The effect of this Siberian-origin cold wave will increase with the storm. In fact, it is predicted that the temperature will be felt at minus 5 to 6 degrees Celsius. The snowfall will continue until Thursday [Feb. 9], along with the storm,” Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said at a press conference held at the Metropolitan Disaster Coordination Center (AKOM).

The mayor warned Istanbulites not to go out and use public transportation unless they have to, while announcing that the schools were closed on Feb. 6.

In the city, where around 10,000 personnel will take part in snow-fighting efforts, plowing and salting teams are kept ready at nearly 600 intervention points in the 4,000-kilometer road network.

The municipality, which will serve tea between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. at nine subway stations, will also offer hot drinks, soup and water at the emergency services of hospitals, piers and to the drivers waiting in traffic through mobile stalls.

“My dear fellow citizens, we have taken the necessary measures. Please do not go out to traffic unless absolutely necessary,” Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya tweeted.

Due to the storm, sleet and snowfall that is expected to increase its impact in the city, motorcycles, e-scooters and motor couriers will not be allowed to go out to traffic, he also announced.

“Snow will be more effective in northern regions such as Sarıyer, Beykoz and Şile districts and Istanbul Airport,” said Osman Çaylak, a meteorology engineer from AKOM. “The situation is somewhat critical, especially on the northern ring motorway, where the trucks pass, and risky for vehicles as visibility may decrease and storms may shake them. If the roads are slippery, the possibility for an accident can be high.”

Türkiye, weather,