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