Heavy snowfall blankets eastern Turkey in mid-April

CARS

Turkey’s eastern provinces were hit by heavy snowfall in mid-April, with snow depth reaching about 20 centimeters in the center of Kars, a border province with Armenia.

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“People bathe on the Aegean shores, we shovel snow here in April,” Kars resident Güven Öztürk told the Demirören news agency on April 13.

According to locals, the cold and rainy weather turned to snowfall late on April 12, with townspeople waking up to a blanket of snow.

“This is the first time I see snow in April in my city,” noted fellow resident Mehmet Aşasın.

After hot days, a Balkan cold snap entered Turkey on April 11, with temperatures dropping an average of 10 degrees Celsius across the country.

“Snowfall and the risk of frost in the east will continue until April 17,” the Turkish state meteorological service warned.

Snowfall also gripped the center of the eastern province of Bingöl, as snow depth reached 5 centimeters, bringing life to an end in the city on April 13.

With the latest snowfall, the snow depth on the highway between eastern Van province and its Bahçesaray district has reached 6 meters.

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The highway, best known for being closed due to snow and avalanches in winter for long periods, was closed due to heavy snowfall in mid-January.

After 36 days of closure, the road was finally reopened on February 21 following the snow removal efforts of municipal workers. But it only lasted two days as two avalanches again closed the road.

On April 13, workers were struggling to plow the roads with heavy vehicles when a new flurry of snow began. “Only one kilometer of road can be shoveled in an hour and a half due to the harsh conditions,” officials said.

Authorities have advised residents to use an alternate road linking the town to Bingöl until the road reopens.

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