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Stormy weather rages in Mideast

Jan. 8, 2013 at 6:04 AM   |   Comments

TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Severe storms, low temperatures, strong winds and snow raged in Middle Eastern countries with forecasters predicting more poor weather yet to come.

The stormy weather that has engulfed Israel in recent days led to the closure of one of Tel Aviv's main highways due to flooding Tuesday, Israel police said. High water led to the closure of a number of other key highways in Israel, causing traffic jams.

Officials closed train stations in Jerusalem, Netanya and Lod, and some other train services were disrupted due to flooding, Israeli media reported. Several schools were shut due to flooding.

Forecasters predicted snow for northern Israel Tuesday, and warned snow would fall in Jerusalem and mountainous areas Wednesday, Israel Radio said.

Strong winds uprooted trees in various areas of Israel and in some instances electricity lines fell, cutting power to traffic lights.

Severe storms were reported in Lebanon, causing extensive damage to homes, businesses, crops and public infrastructure, The Daily Star said. One man was killed and a baby reported missing, the Beirut newspaper said.

Lebanon's Education Ministry ordered the country's schools closed for two days after snow was predicted to fall in many areas.

In Jordan, heavy rainfall wreaked havoc on major thoroughfares in Amman and in tunnels, which were closed due to flooding, The Jordan Times reported. Snow fell on southern parts of the country, the newspaper said.

In Egypt, seaports were closed due to strong winds and heavy rains and in Cairo traffic jams intensified with many of the capital's roads flooded, Allafrica.com said. Fishing in the Mediterranean Sea was halted, the news website said, adding that in the Sinai Peninsula many roads were closed due to flooding.

In Syria, heavy rain fell in many parts of the country and snow covered the country's mountain tops, and temperatures remained below average, the country's official news agency SANA said.

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