Floods hit the eastern Mediterranean

Heavy rain and severe storms cause widespread disruption across the Levant.

    Heavy downpours caused flooding across Gaza City in the Gaza Strip [AFP]
    Heavy downpours caused flooding across Gaza City in the Gaza Strip [AFP]

    Torrential downpours have caused flooding across parts of Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories. There has been travel chaos on the roads and railways, and thousands of people lost power across the region.

    The severe storms swept through Beirut on Saturday and into Sunday and left many streets under water. The vital highway to the airport was particularly badly hit leading to lengthy flight delays.

    In the 24 hours up to 0600GMT on Sunday the airport recorded 73mm of rain. This compares with a November average rainfall of 67mm.

    The heavy downpours then moved across Israel and wreaked havoc as road flooded in Tel Aviv and the West Bank. There were several injuries and lightning caused at least one fire in Jerusalem.

    Ben-Gurion International Airport had 83mm of rain by Sunday. This is 12mm more than that we would usually expect for the entire month of November.

    The local train service was brought to a standstill and stranded passengers had to be rescued by bus.

    The flood induced traffic disruption extended into the West Bank district of Jericho where torrential downpours caused rivers to swell beyond their banks.

    Main routes were paralysed by long traffic jams with some people having to escape from their vehicles through the windows as the water rose beyond a metre high in some places.

    The rain is now moving east across Iraq and Kuwait towards Iran. While the worst of the storms have now passed, the tail end of this system could bring some long awaited wet weather across the Arabian Peninsula over the next few days.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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