Does it snow in the Middle East

Violent winter storm in decades: Snow chaos in the Middle East

The Middle East has been hit by the worst winter storm in a long time. The disaster relief workers are also on duty one day after the snowfall.

The beautiful consequences of the snow storm: mountains of white cars in Jerusalem. Image: dpa

TEL AVIV / BEIRUT / CAIRO dpa | The worst winter storm in decades has thrown parts of the Middle East into chaos. In Israel, 35,000 households were still without electricity on Saturday after snowfalls around Jerusalem and floods in lower elevations. This means that people not only sat in the dark, but also in damp and cold apartments, which can usually only be heated electrically. However, an improvement in the weather was predicted for Sunday.

In Lebanon, civil protection units were deployed across the country to clear roads that had been snowed in the night before. In Cairo, where snow fell in some suburbs for the first time in decades, the weather improved on Saturday.

At least two people died as a result of the storm in Israel. A man fell from the roof of his house trying to mend a hole. A baby was killed in an apartment fire caused by a fan heater.

In Jerusalem there was still some remaining snow, but the precipitation eased somewhat and mostly turned into rain. The day before, the police had called on all people not to leave their homes if possible. However, many Israelis spend the Sabbath, which is similar to Sunday in Christian countries, at home anyway.

Many people in the Palestinian Gaza Strip suffered particularly. The social situation there is already difficult because of the long-standing Israeli and, since July, also the Egyptian blockade. Almost 100 people were injured because their emergency shelters, often only made of corrugated iron, could not withstand the storm. More than 2,200 people had to be rescued from flooded houses. In addition, there is rarely electricity. Heating material is also scarce.

In Lebanon, up to 40 centimeters of fresh snow fell at night in the eastern Bekaa plain, reported the online edition of the Daily Star. In the mountainous regions of southern Lebanon bordering Israel, snow fell up to 500 meters. At the weekend, the snow and rainfalls were expected to subside. It stayed dry in Cairo. The temperature reached 12 degrees Celsius. Next week, milder weather with temperatures between 17 and 20 degrees is expected again.