25 Feb 2024
Sunday 28 January 2018 - 22:34
Story Code : 291741

Snow blankets several Iranian cities, shuts roads, schools

Press TV - Heavy snowfall blanketed much of Iran on Sunday,closing schools and airports while trapping cars on major intercity highways.

The storm which began late Saturday touched more than 20 provinces and two-thirds of the population, delivering its heaviest punch to the north where it dumped some 80 centimeters of snow in the altitudes.

Some motorists on a major highway between the capital Tehran and Karaj to its west had to spenda grueling 10 hours or so for a travel of 42 kilometers as drifting snow and fender benders stranded thousands of commuters.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="555"] Aid workers cut limbs broken due to heavy snow in Tehran, Iran, January27, 2018. (Photo by IRNA)[/caption]
Flights were canceled across much of the country, including Tehran where planes were diverted to the central cities of Isfahan and Yazd.

A heavily used rail service between Tehran and the holy city of Mashhad was also suspended due to the snow buildup. Pilgrims were given temporary shelter at the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini near Tehran as another major highway between Tehran andthe holy city of Qom remained closed.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="555"] Relief workers help a stranded car on Tehran-Qom Highway on Jan. 28, 2018. (Photo by Tasnim)[/caption]
In Tehran, the storm apparently caught authorities off guard as they dawdled until late morning on whether to declare state offices closed. Parts of the capital reported outages in some neighborhoods because broken branches had knocked down power lines.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="555"] The photo shows a view of Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport on January 28, 2018.[/caption]
Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh gave assurances that there was no disruption in gas supply across the country but advised consumers to economize.

Authorities also urged motorists to drive carefully amid reduced visibility andicepatchesforming on many roads.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="555"] Tehrani youth have fun playing in the snow on January 27, 2018. (Photo by Mehr)[/caption]
Police said they had helped many stranded commuters in the north and the west, but the extent of the blizzard has yet to emerge, with many towns and villages likely to have been cut off from the outside world.

This is the first major snowfall of the season, generating a bout of hope in the country which has beenwitnessing one of its worst dry spells in decades this year.

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