The usually bustling Haji Omaran, a mountainous Iraq-Iran border town, was suddenly shut down after exceptionally heavy snowfall hit the region.
So much snow accumulated in 48 hours that people were unable to get out of their homes and some even had to tunnel their way out to fresh air.
Although this mountainous area at the border between Iraq and Iran regularly faces huge amounts of snow, this winter has been unprecedented.
On the Iran side, extreme snowfall buried sheep alive and killed at least 8 persons during the celebrations of the 1979 Islamic Revolution anniversary two weeks ago. Heavy snowfall has also impacted parts of Iraq that had not experience snow in a decade, including Baghdad.
Now, a border town located in Iraq’s Arbil Province near Iran–Iraq border was cut off from the rest of world and its inhabitants buried in snow and left stranded in their homes in just 48 hours!
As a result of the unprecedented snowfall, schools, official institutions as well as shops and markets were closed across the city.
Moreover, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of the main road are blocked by snow, forcing people to cross the border by foot, sometimes walking for hours.
Heavy winds and more snow are forecast in this part of Iran and Iraq for the next days, making it even more difficult to remove the snow. Good luck! More extreme weather news on Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle. [Rudaw]