Storm, snow, hail batter eastern Turkey
Topics: STORM SNOW TURKEY
The Turkish State Meteorological Service (TSMS) warned Monday that heavy downpours would likely hit the northeastern provinces of Erzurum, Erzincan, Kars, Ağrı, Iğdır and Ardahan and the eastern province of Van with southern winds blowing up to 70 or 80 kilometers (around 40 to 50 miles) per hour.
Authorities warned citizens of flash floods, lightning, hail and falling objects, urging caution especially during travel, which has been restricted throughout Turkey as part of measures against the COVID-19 pandemic since midnight on Friday for a period of four days covering the Islamic holiday of Ramadan Bayram, also known as Eid al-Fitr. Throughout the region, strong winds tore up roofs, uprooted trees and damaged fields, although few injuries were reported thanks to the ongoing curfew.
In the southeastern province of Hakkari, strong winds starting Sunday night damaged roofs of homes and public buildings in the city center, whereas a booth serving as a taxi stand was rolled into a street.
Strong winds also damaged homes in Van's city center as well as greenhouses and fields in the surrounding districts of Gürpınar, Saray, Gevaş and Özalp, where many sheep perished as the roof of a barn collapsed.
The storm also led to local power blackouts throughout the region, including in Ardahan's city center.
In the southern city of Kahramanmaraş, several apartment buildings, a school, several grocery stores and billboards were damaged in the storm.
A hail storm that followed rainfall in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır covered streets in white, troubling the few drivers exempt from the curfew. Although the damage was minimal in the city center, crops were affected in the provincial countryside as well as in neighboring Elazığ province. ■