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Palestine Recovers from Blizzards as Jana Snowstorm Subsides.

RAMALLAH,February

21, 2015(WAFA) -- The Palestinian territories are recovering from the

aftermath of the currently subsiding snowstorm that pummeled the regionon

Thursday.

Presidential

Secretary-General At-Tayyib Abdul-Rahim stated that the Palestinian state

managed to recover from the aftermath of the snowstorm, named Jana, thanks to

the experience acquired by the Palestinian Civil Defense and cooperation among

security services, municipalities and citizens.

A major snowstorm

pummeled the regionon Thursday, leaving hilltops shrouded in snow and forcing

schools, universities, public departments and businesses to close.

Blizzards started

lateThursdayand continued into the earlyFridaymorning, cloaking hilltops across the region in

white, forcing main transportation arteries to close.

Snow started to

fallThursdayafternoon in areas with an elevation of over 800

meters above sea level, including Ramallah and Hebron.

As frigid

temperatures continued to drop, snow fell at areas with an elevation of around

400 meters above sea level, hitting Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Nablus.

As temperatures

slightly roseSaturday, the snowstorm mostly subsided except on areas with

an elevation of over 800 meters above sea level, such as Bethlehem, Beit Jala,

al-Khader and Beit Fajjar towns.

In anticipation

of the storm, Palestinian authorities ordered a preemptive shutdown of public

institutions, universities and schools atThursday

noonin order to ensure that residents

could return to their homes before the storm started.

Authorities issued

warnings urging residents to remain indoors and advising them against driving

their vehicles in the snow except in emergency situations.

In order to

deal with the consequences of the snowstorm, authorities formed 'central

operation rooms' and placed municipal and Civil Defense personnel on high alert

to open all major transportation arteries that could be blocked by snow.

Residents were urged

to adhere to safety instructions during the snowstorm and to avoid parking

their vehicles on the sides of main roads so that Civil Defense and municipal

vehicles could clear snow.

Meanwhile, Ministry

of Housing and Public Works announcedSaturdaythat main roads across the West Bank were reopened.

In

Jenin, for example, the snowstorm caused considerable material losses,

destroying greenhouses, livestock barns and poultry farms.

According to Head

of Jenin Agriculture Department Wajdi Bsharat, the snowstorm wrecked havoc to

greenhouses covering at least a 15-dunum area, collapsing the metal frames and

scattering plastic sheets.

It caused a

livestock barn in Jaba', a town to the south of the city, to collapse and

destroyed greenhouses covering a 20-dunum area.

Internally-displaced

persons in the Gaza Strip bore the brunt of the storm. Around 100,000 people

were left homeless after their houses were demolished during the latest Israeli

onslaught on the war-torn coastal enclave. The tents that such people have been

living in collapsed and suffered extensive damage.

K.F./T.R.

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Publication:Palestine News Agency (WAFA) (Gaza, Palestine)
Date:Feb 21, 2015
Words:458
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