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Two killed in avalanche in eastern Turkey

A general view of mountains covered in snow in Hakkari, Turkey on 26 January 2021 [Özkan Bilgin/Anadolu Agency]
A general view of mountains covered in snow in Turkey on 26 January 2021 [Özkan Bilgin/Anadolu Agency]

Two people were killed in an avalanche in Turkey's eastern city of Erzurum, the Disaster and Emergency Authority (AFAD) said on Thursday, as the country grapples with harsh winter conditions, Reuters reports.

Turkey halted flights at Istanbul Airport, which is among the world's biggest airports, for nearly 24 hours earlier this week, due to a severe snowstorm that blanketed the country's biggest city in snow and left thousands stranded.

In a statement, AFAD said the avalanche had hit the Horasan district of the eastern city of Erzurum around 1200 GMT, adding that emergency teams had been deployed to the area.

"Unfortunately, the bodies of two of our citizens who were trapped under the avalanche in Erzurum's Horasan district have been reached," AFAD said.

Eastern Turkey often experiences severe winters, with heavy snowfall and harsh cold. Erzurum hosts some of the country's most popular ski slopes.

READ: Jerusalem's holy sites and West Bank carpeted in rare snow

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