Snowfall in al-Jazira regions, in north-eastern Syria, for one day last week, paralyzed markets and interrupted major roads, causing difficulty in transporting between the cities and towns of the region.
In addition to power interruption in some cities, and the increase in the prices of some basic foodstuffs, mainly bread.
The snowfall in Qamishli, the largest city in the region, caused a near-total closure of the markets on last Thursday and Friday, while the price of bread bundle increased triple.
In the early hours of Thursday, Shams al-Din, a vegetable seller in Qamishli market tried to remove the accumulated snow in front of his shop, but he was surprised, after hours, about the almost complete absence of movement in the market, a place which is usually crowded at this time of the day.
City movement stopped because of the snow, where would the people go shopping
Shams al-Din blamed the Autonomous Administration for laxity in preparing for emergency situations, as which the city is witnessing, "Those who run this city have not prepared anything for this day, so the price of bread bundle has risen today from 100 Syrian pounds to 350 pounds.
Residents of the city say that paralysis was not limited to the movement of markets, but that the main roads between Qamishli and other towns were interrupted east and west.
Firas Hassan, a resident of Qamishli who works as an employee in the city of Remailan, was unable to go to his job on Thursday because of the accumulation of snow and the interruption of roads. "I could not get to my place of work because of the interruption of roads," he said.
Thus, the transportation companies in the main bus station in Qamishli city at the industrial area were obliged to cancel all travels due to current weather conditions, according to employees of those companies. "We feared accident," they said.
The amount of snowfall in the city of Qamishli reached 13.6 mm, according to the General Directorate of Meteorology Weather forecasting in Syria.
Residents of the towns and villages surrounding Qamishli go to the city on a daily basis, with the aim of shopping, in addition to visiting doctors, receiving treatment and for the sake of the administration of transactions in the official departments. Fadel al-Naheir, from the town of Tal-Kochar, a bordering town with Iraq, about 90km away from Qamishli, arrived in the city with difficulty on Thursday morning, to acquire essential needs for his family, but he was unable to return to his house so he had to book a room in a hotel, " I couldn't go back because the road was closed and I didn't buy my family’s needs because the markets were also closed," he said.
The Autonomous Administration formed during the past year in north and east of Syria, an emergency committee after the heavy rains witnessed by the region last winter, and the spread of fires which affected agricultural crops in the harvest season.
The committee, which includes representatives from the municipality, the traffic department, the Internal Security Forces and the Economic Committee, is working to address sudden cases of emergencies, according to data issued at the time of its establishment.
Nevertheless, residents in Qamishli criticized what they described as the weakness and uselessness of the committee after what they had gone through during the two snowy days.
The municipal representative in the emergency committee, Masoud Youssef told North-Press that they did all their best on the first day of the snowfall to open roads in and to the city. "It is true that the situation in the early hours of the morning was inappropriate, but we did our work urgently," he said.
Youssef denied the high prices of food products, especially bread, indicating that they made checking tours on the bakeries and the price was appropriate, as they did not receive complaints in this regard. “We did not witness any raise in prices of bread, but the residents’ fear that snow will continue to fall pushes them to take more than their needs, which causes heavy turnout on the bakeries," Youssef noted.
The problems of market stagnation and the blockage of some roads were accompanied by a blackout in all of the cities of Qamishli, Hasakah, Amude, Darbasiya and Tal-Tamr, which lasted for two consecutive days, in addition to a lack of availability of gas cylinders, according to residents who spoke to North-Press.