Snowstorm hits Turkey

About 2,800 people were stranded on a major highway linking Turkey’s southern provinces after heavy snowfall and blizzards hit Strong province

Heavy snowfall and blizzards affected other regions of the country as well, closing schools in 52 of Turkey’s 82 provinces and isolating outlying towns and villages. Up to 2 meters of snow fell in some remote areas in the northeast.

The stranded people were motorists and passengers on the Tarsus-Adana-Gaziantep (TAG) highway, which was closed to traffic Tuesday night, according to Gaziantep Governor Davut Gul.

About 186 people in need of medical attention were evacuated to hospitals, Gul said, adding that rescue teams also distributed food to about 7,000 people on the highway, where vehicles could not move because of poor visibility and heavy snow.

While rescue teams helped 1,780 vehicles stranded on the road, at least 2,800 people were still stranded Wednesday afternoon.

Government officials sent military helicopters to deliver food aid and conduct medical evacuations. The Army also dispatched two wreckers to remove stranded trucks from the highway.

The main cause of the incident was several long-haul trucks involved in an accident that brought traffic to a standstill, the Daily Sabah reported.

Another snow accident occurred on the road connecting Gaziantep with Kilis province, where about 30 cars were stuck on the road and a passenger car and a truck fell into a shallow cliff after driving off the road.

No injuries were reported.

The city of Gaziantep (population 2 million) received 50 cm of snow overnight Wednesday and temperatures were around -3 °C. Such weather conditions are rare for this region.

Planet Today

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