1993 Bayburt Üzengili avalanche

The 1993 Bayburt Üzengili avalanche occurred on January 18, 1993, at around 07:45 local time (05:45 UTC) in Üzengili, a village of Bayburt Province in northeastern Turkey. It killed 59 people and injured 21, destroying 72 houses.[1][2]

1993 Bayburt Üzengili avalanche
DateJanuary 18, 1993 (1993-01-18)
Time07:45 EET (05:15 UTC)
LocationÜzengili , Bayburt Province, Turkey
Üzengili, Bayburt is located in Turkey
Üzengili, Bayburt
Üzengili, Bayburt
59 dead
21 injured
650 livestock loss

Location and terrainEdit

Üzengili is a mountain village situated at an elevation of 2,025 m (6,644 ft)[2] on the southern edge of the Soğanlı Mountains within the Eastern Blacksea Mountain Range (Turkish: Doğu Karadeniz Dağları). It is 36 km (22 mi) north-east of Bayburt close to the Bayburt-Trabzon provincial border.

The top of the hill at the backside of the village is 3,193 m (10,476 ft) high Amsl.[2] Unlike the northern slopes of the mountains in that region, which are densely covered with forest, the south facing part, where the village is located, has almost no trees.[3]

In 1990, the village had a population of 355.[4]

Weather conditionsEdit

According to the data from the Turkish State Meteorological Service, recorded at the weather station in Bayburt,[3] the area was covered by snow on January 16. As the temperature there was −5 °C (23 °F) at 21:00 local time on that day, it dropped to −15 °C (5 °F) the next day, resulting in formation of surface crusts. During the daytime of January 17, the temperature rose up and the snow pack melted at the surface. In the late hours of that day, the snow pack's surface formed a melt-freeze crust by refreezing with the dropping temperature. Freshly precipitated snow in the night of January 17 and in the early hours of the next day covered the melt-crust surface.[5]


The avalanche flowed 4,150 m (13,620 ft)[3] downwards at an average slope angle of 17 degrees, and struck the village at around 07:45 local time. The snow masses destroyed a total of 72 houses and buried more than 70 people and a great number of animals. The natural disaster caused the life losses of 59 people and 650 livestock. 21 people were injured at the incident.[2]

As a result of the disaster and the future avalanche risk at the location, Üzengili village, comprising 116 houses, has been relocated to another place in a safe zone.[1] In 1997, the settlement counted 166 inhabitants.[6]


  1. ^ a b Gürer, İbrahim (2002). "Türkiye'de Yerleşim Yerlerine Yönelik Kar ve Çığ Problemleri" (PDF). Türkiye Mühendislik Haberleri (in Turkish). İMO. 4-5-6 (420-421-422): 147–154. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  2. ^ a b c d Eastern Anatolia Project Master Plan-Current Situation and Analysis-Local Characteristics, Settlements, General Evaluation (PDF). IV. State Planning Organization Undersecretariat. 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-03-07. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  3. ^ a b c Naaimi, Mohamed; Gürer, İbrahim (1998). "Two-phase Numerical Model of Powder Avalanche-Theory and Application". Natural Hazards. Kluwer Academic. 17: 129–145. doi:10.1023/a:1008002203275. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  4. ^ "Üzengili Köyü (Bayburt/Merkez)" (in Turkish). yerelnet.org. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  5. ^ Taştekin, Ahmet Tolga. "Meteoroloji ve Çığ" (PDF) (in Turkish). Devlet Meteoroloji İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  6. ^ "Bayburt ve İlçeleri Tanıtım" (in Turkish). Bayburt Köyleri. Retrieved 2010-10-15.

Further readingEdit

  • Gürer, I., Naaim, M. (1993) "18 Ocak 1993 de Kuzey Doğu Bölgesinde Bayburt-Üzengili'de Çığ Olayları", 2.Avalanche Dynamics Workshop, 3–8 October 1993, Innsbruck, Austria 15 p, (presented in the workshop).