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Snow in the Middle East


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Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    Well we may not be in for much snow currently, but the Middle East has seen some!

     

    After epic storm, Jerusalem partly returns to life

     

    Schools and public transport partially return Tuesday; city hall to open for business; still no school in Safed, Gush Etzion

     

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    Jerusalem partially returned to life Tuesday morning, after a heavy winter snow storm left the capital isolated and largely shut down over the weekend. Schools, city hall and public transportation were all set to return to operation in one form or another. Most schools and city-run kindergartens were set to open at 10 a.m., the municipality said Monday, although many that were still physically inaccessible due to fallen trees, ice, and other debris and would remain closed. A list of specific schools (Hebrew) was released late Monday night. School has been canceled in Jerusalem since last Thursday.

     
    The Israel Electric Corporation said Tuesday that it had returned power to all communities affected by power outages, except for a few isolated households in Jerusalem. Overnight Monday, the IAF airlifted generators into the West Bank settlements of Shilo and Itamar, which were still inaccessible by road. At the height of the storm Friday, 60,000 households were left without power. Kikar Safra, Jerusalem’s city hall, was also set to resume operations at 10 a.m., and public bus service inside Jerusalem and to and from the capital was to partially resume Tuesday morning as of 8 a.m. The Hebrew University remained closed on Tuesday, due to the widespread traffic and ice issues that have hampered access since Thursday.
     
    Schools in the Golan Heights were to resume Tuesday, but the northern city of Safed said its schools would remain closed for the third day straight on Tuesday, after finding significant infrastructure damage to some institutions, including fallen power lines and caved-in roofs from accumulated snow. Route 60, the main road to the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of the capital, was closed because of ice Monday night and had not reopened as of Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. A second road to the eastern part of the bloc was opened to traffic Tuesday morning.
     
    The National Roads Company of Israel announced Monday that most major roads in the country were open to traffic, except near Nahal Tze’elim near the Dead Sea and some roads in the north. Early Monday morning, Route 1 to and from Jerusalem reopened to private traffic after having been closed in both directions overnight Sunday-Monday due to icy roads.
     
    Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel weathered the brutal winter storm “better than developed countries†accustomed to more frequent blizzards, and dismissed criticism that the country was ill-prepared for the storm. Four people were killed from the inclement weather over the weekend, which brought snow as far south as Dimona and heavy rains elsewhere, though none from the cold in Jerusalem. Besides the regular emergency call centers — 100 for police, 103 for the local municipality — a government call center was opened for elderly residents. It can be reached by dialing *8840.
     
    Palestinian police said over the weekend major thoroughfares in Palestinian-controlled areas were gradually being reopened, but the UN said many villages were still inaccessible. In Gaza, some 40,000 people were evacuated from flooded homes on Friday and Saturday.
     
    The snow reached 40-60 centimeters in Jerusalem and between 60 centimeters and one meter in the Golan during the three-day storm
     

    Snow brings chaos to Middle East
     
    The eastern Mediterranean is suffering its worst winter storm in decades, which blanketed hilly areas of the Levant under more than a foot of snow, turned city streets in the Gaza Strip into lakes, and left tens of thousands of people across the region without power. The chaos caused by three days of snow, rain and frigid temperatures brought criticism in Israel of civilian officials’ preparedness for the emergency, and prompted the Israelis and Palestinians to set up a combined command centre in a rare joint regional effort aimed at addressing humanitarian needs.
     
    In Jerusalem, where many neighbourhoods were without power from Thursday night, traffic was still at a standstill on Saturday morning, and snow blanketed landmarks like the al-Aqsa compound, site of the Dome of the Rock. In the northern Gaza Strip, which is already experiencing an acute humanitarian crisis caused by a lack of fuel and electricity, which has impaired officials’ ability to treat sewage and water, some people fled their homes in boats after their neighbourhoods were flooded. 
     
    More than 600 families were evacuated, including from Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, and from Jabalia and Beit Lahia in the north, Isra al-Modallal, a spokeswoman for the Hamas-led government, told the Financial Times. “We have been working with members of Palestinian civil organisations to help the people,†Ms al-Modallal said.
     
    Israel, which has had tight controls on the territory’s land and sea borders since Hamas assumed power in 2007, on Friday opened the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel to allow humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip. UN agencies and Mekorot, the Israeli state-owned water company, transferred four water pumps into the territory to address flooding, according to Cogat, the Israeli body that coordinates civilian activities in the Palestinian territories. Chris Gunness, a spokesman for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, said that large swaths of northern Gaza were a “disaster areaâ€. “Areas around Jabalia have become a massive lake with two meter high waters engulfing homes and stranding thousands,†he said. The agency has 4,000 workers battling the floods, and hundreds of families have been evacuated to UNRWA facilities, Mr Gunness said.
     
    The harsh conditions have wrought havoc on Syria, where a raging civil war has displaced millions of people. Photos posted to social media showed heavy snow blanketing flimsy tents used as makeshift shelters by refugees, children shivering in the cold and rebel fighters with rocket launchers trundling across white landscapes. “For the hundreds of thousands of refugees in Lebanon, as well as those in neighbouring countries and the displaced in Syria, a storm like this creates immense additional hardship and suffering,†Amin Awad, director of UNHCR’s Middle East and North Africa bureau, was quoted as saying.
     
    Nearly 2.3m Syrian refugees have registered with UNHCR, most of them in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. An estimated 6m Syrians have been displaced inside their own country. In Israel, where snow was still falling at higher altitudes on Saturday morning, about 30,000 households were still without power, according to the Israel Electric Corporation, as reported by the Ynet news service.

     

     
     
    When a family's car became stuck in a freak snow storm, the last thing they expected was a royal rescue from their country's ruler. But that's exactly what happened when none other than King Abdullah II of Jordan appeared out of the white mist like a superhero.
     
    The moment was captured on mobile phone video, as the King helped a group of men push the car free. Jordan was one of the countries hit by snowstorm Alexa, along with Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, leading to many airports cancelling flights. After the car was pushed free, locals reportedly chanted "Long live his majesty the king."
     
     
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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    We want our Snow back we want our Snow back

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