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Unexpected spring snowfall paralyzes life in western Turkey.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Unexpected snow in the early hours of Thursday morning surprised western Turkey as many people woke up to see rural roads blocked and cars stranded in early April -- a time more traditionally reserved for spring.

In the southwestern province of Manisa, the northwestern province of Bolu and the southwestern Isparta province, several village roads were closed to traffic while many districts were negatively affected by heavy snowfall. Traffic along the TEM ystanbul-Ankara highway Bolu Mountain pass and the D-100 (E5) highway came to a standstill with long lines of vehicles. Snowfall caused difficult driving conditions as drivers lost control of their vehicles on icy roads resulting in several minor accidents on the pass.

Residents in the southern provinces of Antalya and Burdur were particularly surprised to see snow as there had been no rainfall during the entire winter season. The northwestern province of EskiE-ehir, which suffered from flooding due to heavy rainfall on Wednesday, also woke up to snowfall on Thursday. While the Antalya and Muy-la provinces saw temperatures of around 8 degrees Celcius throughout Thursday, the top of the mountains in the provinces reportedly received 30 centimeters of snow. Similarly, the western province of Denizli saw a blanket of snow on its mountains. Atop Uluday- Mountain, a famous skiing destination in the western province of Bursa, the snow thickness reached one-and-a-half meters.

Even though ystanbul did not see any snowfall, ystanbul Ferry Lines (yDO) and Bursa Ferry Lines (BUDO) announced that some of the ferries between Bursa and ystanbul in the Marmara Sea had been canceled due to the harsh weather conditions. yDO also cancelled some of its ferry services in ystanbul. Temperatures fell to 5 degrees Celsius in the city, and rain that began late on Wednesday continued at intervals throughout Thursday. Ecamlyca Hill on the Asian side of the city was one of the areas affected by heavy rainfall.

Cold weather and heavy snowfall also brought daily life to a standstill in Ankara. The Ankara municipality worked during the day to prevent roads from becoming icy. The municipality also reportedly issued a written statement describing its efforts in this regard, noting that 30 teams had worked overnight to spread salt on roads in the affected areas.

As farmers became increasingly concerned about damage to their crops as a result of the snowfall, ME-slehattin Can Selcuk, chairman of the Isparta Chamber of Agriculture, warned against a possible frost in western Turkey. Meanwhile, several car accidents have occurred due to the weather conditions across the country. Police have been patrolling the TEM ystanbul-Ankara highway and the D-100 (E5) to ensure that people are driving safely and carefully.

However, the inclement weather isn't expected to last long, with the warmer temperatures forecast for Saturday likely to rise above seasonal norms by 1-3 degrees in the western and central provinces.

Meanwhile, authorities warned people about carbon monoxide poisoning caused by leaks in heating equipment in their residences. There have been no reported fatalities, but Turkey witnessed several instances of poisoning caused by carbon monoxide leakages from natural gas systems and heating stoves.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Apr 9, 2015
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