Tue, 02 Mar 2021

ISTANBUL, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Snowfall and cold weather conditions disrupted the land and sea traffic in the largest Turkish city of Istanbul on Monday.

The slippery and snowy roads prompted high traffic density across the city during the morning rush hours, generating numerous accidents with material damage.

Video footage aired by local media showed several drivers losing control of their cars and skidding on the icy streets, hitting the barriers or other vehicles.

The Istanbul Municipality stated that it was on high alert with more than 7,000 personnel and 3,300 vehicles working to keep the roads open, and 11,000 tons of salt has been used against icing since Friday morning.

The sea traffic on the 30-km-long Bosphorus Strait, one of the world's busiest waterways that divides the Asian and European parts of the city, was also temporarily suspended from both directions, as the visibility dropped below 800 meters.

The city officials said the snowfall and cold weather, which began on Saturday evening, is expected to continue until Tuesday, warning drivers to take the necessary precautions, as the lowest temperature of Istanbul hit minus six to seven degrees Celsius early in the day.

On Sunday evening, the Municipality reported that Istanbul saw as much as 30-centimeter snow cover on the Asian side and five centimeters on the European part.

Meanwhile, the precipitation during the last couple of days and the latest snowfall raised the water level in Istanbul's dam to 30 percent from 17 percent, the latest Municipality data indicated.

With a population of 16.5 million, Istanbul has long been trying to cope with water shortage fuelled by inefficient rainfalls and dry summer and autumn seasons.

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