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Istanbul gripped by sporadic snowfall

Istanbul gripped by sporadic snowfall

Istanbul was gripped by sporadic snowfall that began on Saturday evening, giving a much-needed boost to the country’s most populated city suffering from a lack of precipitation this winter.

The rare snow was a joy for millions though they had to settle for watching snowflakes pattering on their windows as a weekend curfew due to COVID-19 pandemic confined people to their homes. On Monday, the impact of the snowfall was evident in the morning rush hour. Traffic came to a halt in the city before returning to normal hours later.

As the weekend curfew ended in the early hours of Monday, Istanbulites took to the streets to take snapshots of picturesque views of the city in popular locations like Istiklal Avenue. For children, it was the rare chance to build a snowman from the first snowfall in a few years to give enough material to build a snowman.

Snowfall was expected to end by Monday evening, and the weather forecast shows cloudy weather with temperatures fluctuating around 10 degrees Celsius and below for Tuesday and the following days.

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) crews were on alert against the snowfall’s impact on the lives of residents. Some 7,000 workers and more than 1,300 snowplows and other motorized vehicles were deployed across the city. They cleared snow-covered roads and poured salt on the streets against icing. Snowplows were deployed to far-flung villages on the city’s European and Asian sides. Bus services, already working with low capacity due to the curfew, continued uninterrupted. Officials warned residents to avoid taking their cars if they do not have winter tires as the temperatures led to freezing on some roads in the city.