Snow in Istanbul – level 3
A snowstorm in Istanbul has forced the closure of a key shipping channel. The Bosphorus Strait divides Istanbul into Asian and European districts, but around 24 inches (61 centimetres) of snow has fallen in two days, leaving at least 13 ships waiting to enter the strait at both ends. Some 10,000 tankers carry 115 million tons of petroleum products through the narrow, winding strait each year.
It’s not unusual for the strait to close – maritime authorities regularly shut it in winter months due to reduced visibility, raising cargo cost. The snow has also affected travel across the rest of the country with more than 300 scheduled flights grounded by Turkish Airlines.
Members of the Beşiktaş football team have also been stranded at the airport. The Istanbul side is scheduled to play Liverpool in England on Thursday.
And icy roads is said to have led to more than 800 traffic accidents since late on Tuesday.
Difficult words: key (important), strait (a narrow passage of water), petroleum (oil), winding (twisting), maritime (relating to the sea or ships), due to (because of), affect (to change), scheduled (planned), ground (to prohibit an aircraft from flying).
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