Snowstorm Jana sweeps across Middle East

Snowstorm Jana sweeps across Middle East
2 min read
20 February, 2015
Residents urged to stay indoors and services closed early as snow storm blankets parts of Syria, Jordan, Palestine and other areas.


A heavy winter storm has descended on parts of the Middle East, with many residents urged to stay in their homes because of blocked or icy roads.

The Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound was frosted with snow on Friday, as Palestinian children threw snowballs in its forecourt.

Snow also covered much of the occupied West Bank, and Palestinian authorities issued warnings advising people not to drive or even venture outside unless absolutely necessary.

Jordan was also blanketed in snow, as authorities warned of more to come over the weekend. Authorities in Amman ordered a pre-emptive shutdown of public departments, universities and schools in an attempt to avoid repeating scenes from the 2013 "Alexa" snowstorm, when thousands of citizens were left stranded in their vehicles.

The Syrian capital of Damascus and surrounding mountains were covered with snow. Many roads closed in neighbouring Lebanon, isolating dozens of villages.

"There was heavy hail in Beirut, and snow has fallen 200m above sea level," said Wissam Abu Hashfeh of Lebanon's meteorological service. The storm has been named Jana, and is the largest since last month's Huda.
     Authorities have issued warnings advising people not to drive or even venture outside unless absolutely necessary

The army has put tracked vehicles on standby to help civilians in the least accessible areas.

In Egypt, strong winds and heavy rain shut down the Mediterranean ports of El-Arish and Damietta, where strong winds uprooted trees.

The Red Sea Port Authority said six of its ports shut down early Friday, including Ain Sukhna in the Suez area and the ports on the Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.