Heavy snow paralyzes life across Jordan as storm ‘Alexa’ continues to cover country

Published on : Monday, December 16, 2013

Heavy-snow-paralyzesHeavy snow paralyzed life across Jordan as storm “Alexa” continued to cover the country with a blanket of snow and bring strong wind that took off tents of dozens of Syrian refugees.

Major and minor roads across the country were blocked by Friday in spite of the authority’s efforts to reopen the road. Power cuts were reported across the country, especially in the southern governorates of Karak and Tafielh, where a shortage of fuel and bread was reported.

Several car accidents were reported Friday as citizens flocked to the streets to play with snow as strong wind damaged several trees and cut power lines in different parts of the Kingdom.

In some parts of the country, snow reached a height of more than 60 centimeters, according to the Jordan Meteorological Department.

The strong wind took off 50 tents for Syrian refugees living in the Northern Badia, according to several local reports Tens of families of Syrian refugees were evicted and taken to nearby schools after their tents were destroyed by the strong wind.

Some of the families in the areas also opened their homes for the Syrian refugees, according to the reports. In a statement Friday, the Public Security Department said: “Most of the major roads across the country are blocked by snow. Civil defense teams are working on opening the roads, but we urge citizens not to leave their houses except when there is an emergency.”

The Civil Defence Department noted that several accidents were reported that led to the injury of many people, but no fatalities were reported.

The civil defense department said it helped evacuate hundreds of citizens whose houses were flooded by water and who were surrounded by heavy piles of snow.

In an interview with the state-run Jordan Television, Jordan’s Minister of Interior Hussein Majali attributed the power cuts, especially in the south of Jordan to the fact that power networks are old.

“There has been no electricity since the morning in our city of Tafileh. Bakeries also stopped working because there is no power. This is terrible,” Ahmad Younes, a resident of Tafileh to the south of Jordan, told Xinhua Friday.

Even citizens in the capital Amman complained about repeated cuts in power supply, with some saying it forced them to go out and enjoy the snow.

“I left home because I have been stuck since Thursday. There is no electricity, no TV and it is boring so I decided to join friends and play with the snow in the streets,” Mohammad Ali, a resident of Khalda in Amman, told Xinhua Friday.

“Streets are blocked. Coffee shops are closed so as malls and restaurants. There is nothing to do except enjoying the snow,” said Ali.

The sandstorm Alexa, which also affected Turkey, Palestine, Israel, Syria and Lebanon, is expected to bring more snow across Jordan on Friday and throughout Saturday.


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