Many schools and roads closed as snow continues to batter Turkey

Many schools and roads closed as snow continues to batter Turkey

Snow continued to blanket Turkey, leading to the closure of many schools around the country. (Photo: AA)

February 29, 2012, Wednesday/ 17:42:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Heavy snowfall continues to wreak havoc across Turkey, leading to the closure of schools and causing numerous roads to become impassable. Primary and high schools were closed on Wednesday due to intense snowfall in the western province of Bursa, where the temperature dropped to as low as minus four degrees Celsius and snow reached a height of 10 centimeters.

Schools were also closed for the day in many districts of other provinces, including Burdur, Samsun, Tokat, Sivas, Konya, Karaman and Yozgat. Heavy snowfall also paralyzed daily life in Ankara, where schools and universities were closed on Wednesday due to heavy snowfall. Building attendants at Parliament experienced a lot of difficulties with water seeping through the roof of the hall of honor after it began to leak.

Many roads were blocked due to snow in the city’s Gölbaşı district, where municipality teams are working hard to clear the roads. The Ankara Metropolitan Municipality put to work 206 personnel, 95 vehicles and used a large amount of salt to keep the roads open in the province. Officials recommended that vehicles be equipped with snow chains and warned drivers not to drive in the emergency lane. According to the State Meteorology Bureau, snowfall will continue throughout the week in Ankara province.

Meanwhile, the Afyonkarahisar-Ankara highway was closed to traffic due to heavy snowfall and a snowstorm. Teams from the local Highways Directorate worked throughout much of the day to remove snow from the road. Heavy snowfall also blocked the Ankara-Çankırı and Erzurum-Bingöl highways, where many vehicles were stuck in the snow. In the meantime, snowfall in the late hours of Tuesday night caused excitement in Kemer, Antalya province, as it experienced its first snow in many years. Locals woke up to a white morning and ran into the streets. The snow reached up to 60 centimeters in the elevated parts of the district. A total of 691 village roads were blocked due to intense snowfall in the provinces of Tokat, Sivas and Tunceli. While 320 villages could not be reached in the eastern province of Sivas, power was out in a number of villages and telephone lines were damaged. The Tunceli-Ovacık highway was closed to traffic for 10 hours due to an avalanche. Teams are still working to keep the road open.

Ankara witnessed 150 traffic accidents due to heavy snowfall over the last two days, the Cihan news agency reported on Wednesday. According to the Ankara Police Department, 34 individuals were injured in the accidents. There were no reports of any casualties.

Snowfall and a snowstorm on Wednesday also caused a traffic accident involving 25 cars that left four individuals injured. The accident occurred on the Kırıkkale-Kayseri highway when a passenger bus and a truck collided due to the slippery road. There were no casualties reported. The four injured were taken to nearby hospitals.

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