Heavy rain and strong winds hit Israel and Jordan over the past couple of days, causing severe flash floods and leading to multiple high-water rescues.
Jerusalem recorded 136 mm (5.35 inches) of rain on February 28 which is 4.8 mm (0.18 inches) more than its average monthly rainfall for the month of February - 131.2 mm (5.16 inches). This is also 1/4 of its average annual rainfall.
The flooding led to multiple dramatic rescues throughout the capital. 1 200 people were evacuated after a school in Jerusalem's Ein Karem neighborhood was cut off by flooding. The students were evacuated using jeeps in groups of three and four after officials concluded it was unsafe to let schoolbuses approach the campus, The Times of Israel reports.
All students are in good health although several of the jeeps were caught themselves in the floodwaters, requiring special rescues.
Dozens of others were trapped by floodwaters inside buildings and vehicles and had to be rescued.
مجمع زوارق الشرق pic.twitter.com/bKyWpsrNOL— Shaheen (@1Chaheen) February 28, 2019
Jordanian government declared a 'level 4' weather alert and closed ministries early Thursday afternoon, February 28. They reported collapsed buildings and blocked roads in what they described as the heaviest rains of the winter season.
Several universities including the University of Jordan and dozens of schools across the country remained shut or sent students home early ahead of expected floods and evening snowfall, The National reported.
A woman and her three children were rescued after floodwaters trapped them in their home in the Ain al-Basha neighborhood north of Amman, while roof collapses were reported in homes in Amman, Ruseifah and Irbid. The Royal Badia Forces moved 46 refugees living in tents in the desert to safer areas.
Jordan’s ministry of water and irrigation told citizens to leave the area near Waleh Dam in central Jordan, 60 km (37 miles) south of Amman, saying the reservoir was filled beyond capacity and expected overflow.
Capital Amman recorded 68 mm (2.67 inches) of rain in 24 hours ending March 1 which is more than the city usually sees during the entire month of February - 61.7 mm (2.42 inches).
Featured image credit: VOA