Istanbul woke up to a picturesque but paralyzed city covered with a white blanket this morning as heavy snow and cold weather gripped particullarly the European side of the Metropolis.
Istanbul / NationalTurk – Traffic was congested in many key points of the city in the morning rush hours as troubles were frequently exacerbated by sporadic accidents. So far no casualties have been reported in these accident but material damage is expected to be very high.
One person reportedly died after slipping and falling to the ground in Fatih district. Many are reported to be hospitalized with broken limbs or bruises.
Snow height more than half a meter in many suburbs of Istanbul
In higher sections and in western and northern parts of the city, snow height reached half a meter. Working class districts such as Bağcılar, Esenler and Sultangazi were especially affected, while main highways such as O-2 and O-3 were also hit, despite the efforts of municipality workers.
The metrobuses, big busses with a fancier name – Istanbul municipality’s brilliant solution to traffic jams – which many Istanbulites trusted to reach their jobs, were also paralyzed, as services between Küçükçekmece and more central Topkapı were halted. Tens of thousand stuck in traffic. Buses were also unable to move in many crucial districts. Tens of thousands of citizens tried to reach their workplaces on foot.
In many locations, the situation was made worse due to citizens who failed to chain their tires or did not use snow tyres.
Flights from Istanbul Atatürk Airport cancelled
As of this morning, nearly 180 domestic and international flights from the Istanbul Atatürk Airport were canceled. Many passengers whose flights were canceled starting from yesterday evening had to spend the night at the airport.
Due to strong northeast winds in the Marmara Sea, many seabus and fast ferry services were also halted. These include ferries from the Yenikapı port and Bandırma, a city on the opposite side of Marmara Sea.
Istanbul weather will be slightly better in the coming days as forecasters have said the severe cold, which has seen officials in Turkey report Istanbul’s lowest temperature for 30 years, will continue to spread west, with extreme low temperatures expected to drop to minus double figures, with a risk of snow blizzards. Weather in Istanbul is at the moment snow shovers and -1 .