Jerusalem sealed off as heavy snows reach capital

People seen walking by the walls of Jerusalem's Old City Walls as snow begins to fall, Wednesday, January 7, 2015 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

People seen walking by the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City Walls as snow begins to fall, Wednesday, January 7, 2015 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Galilee hilltops covered in snow since morning; weather poses stark problem for millions of Syrian refugees over the border

(SOURCE)   Heavy rains and high winds swept Israel Tuesday night and through Wednesday as a major winter storm descended upon the country. Hail and snow were reported in the north since early Wednesday, and spread to elevated peaks in the center of the country by mid-morning, with brief power outages reported in various parts of the country. Stay with The Times of Israel for updates as we blog the extreme weather through the day.

Jerusalem hospitals on heightened snow readiness

Hadassah’s two Jerusalem hospitals, at Ein Karem in the city’s south and on Mt. Scopus in the north, are in a heightened state of readiness to receive injured or ill during the storm, the organization says.

As the heaviest snow yet begins to fall on Jerusalem, the municipality says emergency crews will open the roads to the city’s hospitals before any others.

15:49

Ben Gurion control tower struck by lightning

Lightning hits the control tower at Israel’s main airport, Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv.

According to the Airports Authority, the strike damaged some systems, but did not endanger planes arriving or taking off from the airport.

Flights may be delayed by an hour or more as technical crews work to repair the damaged systems.

Ramat Gan safari animals seek shelter from storm

The Ramat Gan safari closed to the public with the start of the heavy rains this morning. Workers moved the hay intended to feed the safari’s large herbivores under awnings so the animals may feed out of the rain.

“The hay is more than food, it also helps the animals stay warm,” the safari said in a statement.

Many animals took advantage of the awnings to escape the storm.

“Even many of the hippopotamuses left the lake in order to hide under the awnings,” the statement explains.

Zebras seek shelter from a winter storm in Ramat Gan's wildlife safari, January 7, 2015. (Eran Habani)

Zebras seek shelter from a winter storm in Ramat Gan’s wildlife safari, January 7, 2015. (Eran Habani)

Snowfall brings respite in Syrian civil war

In Syria, the guns fall silent as snow falls in Aleppo and the capital Damascus and government warplanes remain on the ground because of bad visibility, AP reports.

Snow blankets Syria’s Qassioun Mountain, which overlooks Damascus. The snowfall also brings traffic to a near standstill in the city and prompts the Education Ministry to shutter schools and universities for two days.

Photos emerging from the war-torn city show residents taking a rare respite and playing in the fresh snow.

People play with snow accumulated on a vehicle in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (AP Photo)

People play with snow accumulated on a vehicle in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (AP Photo)

People walk across a snow-blanketed street in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (AP Photo)

People walk across a snow-blanketed street in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (AP Photo)

Children make a snowman in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (AP Photo)

Children make a snowman in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (AP Photo)

Two die of exposure in Lebanon snows

In eastern Lebanon, security officials say a Syrian shepherd, Ammar Kamel, 30, and a 7-year-old boy, Majed Badawi, died in the storm Wednesday as they made the dangerous trek in rugged mountains covered with snow from Syria to the Lebanese border town of Chebaa.

— AP

A Lebanese man walks on main road covered by the snow, in Chtoura town, in the Bekaa valley, east Lebanon, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

A Lebanese man walks on main road covered by the snow, in Chtoura town, in the Bekaa valley, east Lebanon, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

2 thoughts on “Jerusalem sealed off as heavy snows reach capital

  1. Even though God created the seasons and the weather, He is not on mans calendar or man’s timeline. The western world is literally pardon the pun, (out in the cold) or literally paralized when it comes to dealing with Islamic terror, diseases, and war.
    End time events are getting much worse just in the first 7 days of 2015. As is already happening and now some reports are coming out about what could be massive outbreaks of cholera and even Ebola in the middle east areas where ISIS has taken over. ISIS have been killing doctors and destroying clinics and hospitals in Syria and Iraq. When Ebola does come especially to the many refugee camps, there will be no one there to treat it.
    This problem has no quick solution. This could certainly lead to a horrific regional if not global outbreak. Jesus spoke about this as an end time senario in Matthew 24:7 about famines, pestilences (plagues) .

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