Istanbul paralyzed due to snowfall as vehicles without chains not allowed on traffic
DHA PhotoA new wave of cold air and snowfall has hit Turkey, mainly Istanbul, leading to road blocks and flight cancelations.
The heavy snowfall in Istanbul has affected life negatively, with vehicles without chains on their wheels not permitted to hit the roads.
“Vehicles, especially trucks, without chains on their wheels will not be permitted in traffic in order to avoid disruptions,” the Istanbul Governor’s Office announced Feb. 18, warning citizens not to drive their private cars without the compulsory requirements.
Snowfall is expected to continue until noon feb. 19, the office added.
Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş said works to solve the problems caused by snow were being conducted in cooperation with the governor’s office. Around 450 people living on streets were transferred to sports facilities and hostels, Topbaş added.
Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin accepted that the traffic comparatively eased without school busses, while giving no information as to whether schools were to be closed today.
Schools were closed in Istanbul as the depth of the snow reached 60 centimeters in Çatalca in the northwest of the province.
All flights to and from Atatürk Airport were canceled for several hours due to snowfall on Feb. 18.
A Turkish Airlines (THY) passenger plane flying from Beirut slid off the runway due to the icy ground after landing at Atatürk Airport. Airport teams immediately intervened and evacuated the passengers safely. No other damage has been reported.
Schools were also closed in Istanbul as the depth of the snow reached 60 centimeters in Çatalca in the northwest of the province.
The Istanbul municipality reported a total of 841 traffic accidents since Feb. 17 due to the treacherous driving conditions.
Around 20 vehicles crashed in a multiple collision on the TEM highway in Sakarya, closing the road in the direction of Istanbul.
Municipal teams have been stationed on several points in the city, while salt trucks worked to ensure major highways remained open.
Temperatures have also fallen in the western, central and southern regions of the country, as snowfall closed schools in Kocaeli, Çanakkale, Sakarya, Niğde, Nevşehir, Bitlis, Kaseri, Antalya and Konya.
Elsewhere, various provinces in eastern Anatolia were also hit by heavy snow. Roads leading to some 191 villages and neighborhoods in Erzurum, Kars, Ağrı and Ardahan provinces became inaccessible.
Two people have died due to the cold weather in two provinces, Doğan News Agency has reported.
A 53-year-old man, identified as Ekrem Bülbül, was found dead on Feb. 18 after spending the night on the stoop of a workplace in the Central province of Amasya. The man who had lived on the streets took shelter in front of the workplace but froze to death, according to initial reports.
A shepherd also died due to the cold in the western province of Kocaeli, the province’s deputy governor has said. The 69-year-old man was found in a brushwood area where he took his flock to pasture.