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World Snowfall: Air Traffic Suspended in Istanbul, Blocked Motorists in Athens

00:07  25 january  2022
00:07  25 january  2022 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  Chutes de neige: le trafic aérien suspendu à Istanbul, des automobilistes bloqués à Athènes © AFP

Abundant Snow Falls Monday caused the suspension of Istanbul International Airport operations, the most popular with Europe in 2021, while in Greece hundreds of motorists were trapped for several hours on the Athens ring road.

Flights to Istanbul originally resume Monday at 6:00 pm Local Time (15:00 GMT) but after evaluation of the situation, the direction of "Istanbul Havalimani" postponed the resumption of operations at best at midnight (21:00 GMT), said. At AFP a manager of the airport that refused to be cited.

New large snowfall are expected Monday night in Istanbul where the prefecture warned the population, inviting him to give up the road.

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In a message posted on Twitter, the General Directorate of Civil Airports explained that "exceptional conditions" due to snowfall accompanied by strong winds reduced visibility on the slopes.

for its part, the national company Turkish Airlines preferred to cancel all of its flights, initially as at the arrival of Istanbul Havalimani, until 04:00 Tuesday (01:00 GMT) for "the safety of its passengers", Has she warned Twitter.

A spokesman also announced the collapse of one of the company's cargo terminals under the weight of snow on the international airport. The incident did not make a victim, he said.

The second Istanbul airport, Sabiha Gokcen, located on the Asian shore of Istanbul, normally functioned despite several announced delays.

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The snow started falling during the weekend on most of Turkey, redoubling intensity on Saturday to Sunday and new falls, abundant, are still awaited in the evening.

In central Greece and on the Islands of the Aegean Sea, a strong snowstorm has fallen on Monday, especially touching the Attica, the Athens region, causing chaos in the Greek capital.

Location "Extreme"

Hundreds of motorists have found themselves trapped for more than six hours in their vehicles on the Attiki Odos ring road that connects the East to the west of Athens, while huge traffic jams have disrupted traffic on other roads.

While the temperature was 0 ° Celsius, many furious motorists called radio stations to protest and others abandoned their cars in the middle of the snow-covered pavement.

"By entering Attiki Odos, I asked the employees of the tolls if they had to use chains, they told me that there was no problem," said a driver, blocked since More than four hours, from the Skai radio.

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In the early evening, the army and firefighters and police undertook an operation to identify hundreds of people blocked in their vehicles.

During a televised speech alongside the Attic Prefect Giorgos Patoulis and Police and Meteorologist Managers, the Minister of Civil Protection and Climate Change Christos Stylianids "apologized" for problems at Attiki Odos .

He has charged the responsibility to the device management company that "failed to leave open this very popular axis".

"If the company had acted in a correct way, we would not have had this problem," said the minister.

Big traffic jams also occurred on other avenues from the center of Athens where schools and parliament closed Monday.

In addition to Athens, the cold wave with strong snowfall also struck the southern island of Crete and the Cycladic Islands as well as the island of Euba, north of Athens, already ravaged by fires this summer .

Temperatures have dropped to -14 ° in some parts of Greece, causing power outages and interrupting traffic on the roads.

"This is an extreme situation for our country," said Christos Zerefos, an atmospheric physics teacher, on the public television channel ERT.

The snowfalls to continue Tuesday, the Greek authorities announced "the suspension" of the functioning of private and public services for Tuesday with the exception of the police, firefighters and hospitals.

24/01/2022 21:13:28 - Athens (AFP) - © 2022 AFP

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