Deadly Freaky Weather Strikes Middle East

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Deadly Freaky Weather Strikes Middle East

Post by GD on Mon 13 Dec 2010, 7:20 pm


The Middle East has been battered by strong winds, heavy rain, sandstorms and even snow - leading to the deaths of at least 19 people.Most of the fatalities were in Egypt where buildings collapsed and there were several road accidents due to the extreme weather.

At least 10 ports on the Red Sea and Mediterranean were shut in the storms, including Egypt's largest in Alexandria, amid 12ft waves.


In that city, seven people were killed and 10 injured when a factory building collapsed, which was blamed on rain damage.
There were further deaths in the country as other buildings were damaged or came down.




The storms and unusually cold temperatures ended weeks of unseasonably warm and dry weather in the region.
Those hot conditions had contributed to forest fires in Lebanon and helped feed a massive blaze in Israel that destroyed thousands of hectares of forest.
Lebanon was struck by a mixture of heavy rain, fierce winds and snow.
A woman died when her car was crushed by a falling tree in the northern city of Tripoli, authorities said.
In Syria, snow blanketed the streets of the capital Damascus for the first time this winter.
Sandstorms blanketed the Egyptian capital Cairo for a second day, filling the air with dust and turning the sky a beige colour.
Jordan also wrestled with sandstorms and winds up to 55mph.






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Visibility was severely limited, and authorities closed some roads leading to the ancient city of Petra, a major tourist attraction.
Heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures brought transport chaos to Turkey.
In the capital Ankara, a bus narrowly missed onlookers and a car as it skidded across the road.
In Israel, rain and hail pounded the country while strong winds brought down trees and traffic lights, streets were flooded and electricity was knocked out to hundreds of homes.
A pier at the ancient port city of Caesarea reportedly collapsed and towering waves washed over the shore of Eilat, a Red Sea port city.




Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said northern Israel was hit hardest by the storm, and that extra police patrols were sent to divert traffic because of fallen trees.
Two police officers were lightly injured when a tree came down on their patrol car, Mr Rosenfeld said.
Off the Israeli coast, a Moldovan cargo ship sank in stormy weather about seven miles from the port city of Ashdod, and a Turkish ship was safely towed two miles to shore after sending out distress calls.


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