Snow storms grip Kur­dis­tan

As snow storms grip Kur­dis­tan, snow falls of as much as 1.5 me­ters wreak havoc on the Re­gion

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

The re­cent snow storms, caused by the im­pact of cli­mate sys­tems from the Mediter­ranean, cov­ered the ma­jor­ity of Kur­dis­tan with a white gown and with a thick­ness vary­ing from a few cen­time­tres to over 1.5 me­ters.

The re­gion hav­ing barely re­cov­ered from drought is now fac­ing the dif­fi­cult task of man­ag­ing the heavy rain and snow storms, which have caused traf­fic, power, trade, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and other such prob­lems through­out the re­gion.

Fur­ther­more, the im­pacts in some ar­eas caused hu­man­i­tar­ian and fi­nan­cial losses. In Duhok, six road clear­ing teams started work to open high­ways and streets cov­ered with un­ex­pected lev­els of snow, reach­ing 1.3 me­ters in the province and more than 0.3 me­ters in the city en­ter.

Abd Yousif, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Duhok Ed­u­ca­tion Di­rec­torate, high­lighted that the snow wave has caused traf­fic is­sues and dis­con­nected some vil­lages, towns and dis­tricts, and pre­vented stu­dents and teach­ers from reach­ing their schools.

“As a re­sult [of the heavy snow] some 70 schools have failed to con­duct midterm ex­ams that have been pushed back to next week,” said Yousif. “If this con­tin­ues, we may have to post­pone them fur­ther.”

Cap­tain Azad Taha, Head of Duhok Traf­fic Di­rec­torate, re­vealed that dur­ing the first two days of the snow wave, some 25 traf­fic ac­ci­dents have oc­curred, lead­ing to the tragic loss of one life and 4 more in­jured.

Live­stock losses

Dr. Di­yar Tayyib, Di­rec­tor of Duhok Ve­teri­nary, told the Kur­dish Globe that due to the heavy snow storms, a live­stock fa­cil­ity col­lapse in Keri Vil­lage, a Kani Masi sub-district, left 1,200 goats dead in the process.

“We will try to com­pen­sate their owner for the loss,” Dr. Tayyib ex­plained the Globe.

Trade and Tourism im­pacts

In Shaqlawa, one of the most pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tions in the re­gion, the traf­fic sys­tem was vir­tu­ally par­a­lyzed for a short while as some 0.5 me­ter snow rapidly cov­ered the area.

On the other hand, Haj Omaran Ad­min­is­tra­tion Di­rec­tor, Magh­did Areef, stated that in the bor­der town trade and tourism ac­tiv­i­ties were put on hold for the most of last week due to more than 1.5 me­ters of snow cov­er­ing most of the district.

More­over, some 160 trav­el­ers were stuck in the area and forced to stay at random houses.

“Till now, the Ira­nian side of the roads have not been cleared and we con­tinue to work hard to clear ours,” Arif said ear­lier this week. “How­ever, move­ments con­tinue to be very dif­fi­cult in the area, to the ex­tent that in many vil­lages, stu­dents can­not reach schools and at­tend ex­ams.”

In ad­di­tion, Arif added that a power cut in the Ira­nian bor­der town of Pi­ran­shar and the Kur­dish bor­der town of Haji Omaran was caused by the fall of some power trans­mis­sion tow­ers on the Ira­nian side.

The ef­fects of the dras­tic con­di­tions were also felt in the So­ran area, were some 65 vil­lages spent four of their harsh­est win­ter nights with­out power while midterm ex­ams in many schools were post­poned.

A small vil­lage cov­ered with snow 15 kilo­me­ters east of Er­bil. PRESS PHOTO

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