Snow, storms hit Turkey, at least 2 killed in floods
AA PhotoHeavy snowfall and rains along with cold weather across Turkey paralyzed ordinary life for people while precipitating deadly floods in the southern part of the country and suspending education at many schools in central and northern provinces due to snow.
Two people were killed in the southern province of Mersin on Dec. 29 due to a flood that was caused by heavy rains in the region. With many trapped inside their vehicles, the municipality issued a warning statement calling on people to stay at home throughout the day if possible.
Development Minister Lütfi Elvan declared a mobilization in the province, where education was suspended in seven districts for the day.
While the rainfall affected life negatively in Mersin, heavy snowfall also halted life in central and northern Anatolia.
Footages, served by the agency, showed a father and his daughter who were trying to cross over being dragged by the flood before they escaped it with their own efforts.
Authorities in 21 provinces, mostly in central Turkey but also in northern Anatolia, said schools had been closed for the day due to heavy snow and icy conditions that were expected to follow.
Governors in nine provinces, including Ankara, which saw heavy snowfall, announced administrative leave for pregnant and staff with disabilities on Dec. 29.
Officials from Turkey’s Highways Directorate told Anadolu Agency that the Ankara-Afyonkarahisar road was closed due to heavy snow. Intercity buses heading to Ankara were left marooned at terminals, unable to leave.
Teams also worked to help vehicles stuck along the Antalya-Konya highway, after heavy snow caused its closure.
Meanwhile, at least five people were killed and over 20 were wounded in a bus accident in the northern Sinop province due to bad weather, officials said.
In Eskişehir’s Beylikova district, Alparslan Demir, a 31-year-old shepherd, was rescued in a six-hour operation after he became stuck in the snow.
Ferry service between Istanbul and northwestern Bursa, Yalova, Balıkesir was limited due to strong winds, service operator IDO announced on its website.
Turkish Airlines also announced that 38 domestic and international flights had been canceled for Dec. 29, and 26 flights for Dec. 30.
In Istanbul, meanwhile, the municipality’s disaster coordination center, AKOM, released a snow and storm warning that was expected to be begin across the city at 6 p.m.
According to the statement, a snowstorm that is expected to pack winds of up to 90 kilometers per hour is expected to bring snow that reaches up to 30 centimeters in some parts of the city.
The snowfall is expected to last until the end of Dec. 31 in the Istanbul area.
Meteorologists have also warned that temperatures will decrease by one to three degrees in western parts of the country and up to four degrees in central and eastern parts of the country.
Air traffic was also affected negatively due to rainfall and heavy wind in Istanbul that began in the early hours of the day. Some six planes were unable to land at Istanbul Atatürk Airport between 10 and 10:30 a.m.
Arrival and departure terminals of the Atatürk Airport also became the scene to intense crowds as many passengers’ flights were suspended or canceled.