15 January Friday

Istanbul Sees First Snowfall of Winter 2020-21

The snowfall is expected to continue on the weekend as the occupancy rates in the city's dams have also increased amid a water shortage threat following dry months.

The first snowfall of the season started in Istanbul yesterday (January 14) as meteorologists expect a four-day snowfall in the city.

As of this morning, the snowfall continues in the higher-altitude areas of the city, including Başakşehir, Arnavutköy and Çamlıca while it's slushy in areas near sea level.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality's (IMM) Disaster Coordination Center (AKOM) said the snowfall is expected to increase on the weekend, especially on the shores of the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea.

This year, 1,351 vehicles and 7,031 personnel will be deployed to 434 locations for snow plowing and salinization efforts on a road network of 4,023 kilometers.

60 critical points will be closely monitored by the Early Warning System for Ice (BEUS) to avoid accidents icy roads. Salt bags (301.308 tons) will be left to critical points and intersections for citizens' use throughout Istanbul.

During the heavy snowfall, mobile buffets and emergency services of the IMM will serve soup, hot drinks and water to drivers waiting at traffic and for those waiting at piers and roads.Citizens will be informed through the press on issues such as increasing the importance and directing of public transportation, application of winter tires, and weather warnings.

The combat activities will be carried out under the coordination of AKOM. The snow plows and road opening works of the vehicles will be followed by the existing vehicle tracking system and the vehicles will be directed to other regions if necessary.

Collecting centers were planned for the homeless people living on the street. Police, police, and ambulances will be collected after the health check of the homeless people will be done after they are collected by police, municipality police, and medical teams. District Municipalities will bring homeless citizens identified in their districts to the guesthouses of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

The homeless are taken to three separate shelters for women and men in the Esenyurt, Florya and Kayışdağı districts of the city. Currently, a total of 280 homeless people are staying in the these shelters.

The temperatures will be 3 to 7 Celsius degrees lower than season normals until January 22, according to the estimates by the State Meteorological Service (MGM).

The water level in Istanbul's dams have also increased with the recent rain and snowfall, the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (ISKI) said.

The city had only about 45 days of water left as the occupancy rates in its dams had fallen to 19 percent while it increased to 28 percent as of today, according to data given by the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (ISKI).

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