Record-breaking cold spell grips eastern Turkey #RecordCold #freeze #snowfall #blizzards #Göle #Ardahan #turkey
Winter takes its toll in Turkey’s eastern regions which are usually the coldest parts of the country during the season. Yet, temperatures broke another record in 2020: Residents of Göle, a small town in the northeastern Ardahan province saw temperatures drop to minus 40 degrees on Sunday night. Göle had the unenviable record last year as well, at minus 32.5 degrees.
Freezing temperatures, accompanied by snowfall and blizzards, also cut off access to critical locations like an area in Van province’s Çaldıran district where 13 migrants are believed missing. Search and rescue crews are already blocked by piles of snow in Van’s Bahçesaray where 41 people were killed last week while one person is still missing due to two avalanches.
Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez says crews can only work in the area once the weather improves, noting another road connecting Van to its Çatak district was already closed due to avalanche risk. Bilmez told İhlas News Agency (İHA) on Monday that they received a tip-off that 13 illegal migrants died in a remote area of Çaldıran, near the border with Iran, but the area was inaccessible. “We had phone calls (from relatives of migrants) from Iran, Germany and (the Turkish city of) Diyarbakır, and these people are believed to have been frozen to death while crossing the border. Even if crews can reach the area, they cannot recover anyone because of storms and blizzards. The visibility is zero now,” he said.
Bilmez said the only way to clear the roads and reach any stranded persons was for the blizzards to end. “Unfortunately, such cases of migrant deaths happen in the region. Last year, we found about 100 bodies and only after the snow thawed,” he said. The governor says that although they were able to clear the snowed road, blizzards led to their closure almost as soon as the road was cleared. He also warns against the risk of avalanche, especially in Çatak district and urged the public in rural areas not to leave for towns or central Van.
Courtesy of dailysabah.com