On Monday (15 January) the streets of Jerusalem were blanketed in snow...the first fall in?
On Monday (15 January) the streets of Jerusalem were blanketed in snow...the first fall in 13 years and the heaviest in 22 years. Roads were blocked with up to 18 inches (45 centimetres) of snow, and road and air transport systems were severally disrupted. Schools, offices and shops in most districts of Israel were largely empty as people stayed at home. In some areas telephone and electricity services were cut-off, and troops called in to help clear the snow. the main road linking tel Aviv and Jerusalem was blocked by drifts, and strong cold winds blowing in from the Mediterranean Sea was still bringing snow to Israel, Syria and Jordan late in the day. Jerusalem's municipal authorities set up an emergency transport system to take expectant mothers and sick people to local hospitals.
SYNOPSIS: For the first time in 13 years Jerusalem woke up on Monday to find a thick mantle of snow on the ground. In fact, it was the heaviest snowfall recorded there during the past quarter- century.
Road transport was severely disrupted and many army vehicles were pressed into service to help cope with standings. Teams of labourers worked to clear city pavements.
In most parts of Jerusalem the snow lay from a foot to 18 inches deep on the ground, and emergency bread and milk supplies had to be quickly organised for families either stranded or unable to venture far.
The snow had swept in with strong cold winds blowing off the Mediterranean Sea the night before, and was still falling late on Monday. Most districts of Israel, as well as neighbouring Syria and Jordan,received a thick coating.
This tree, laden with oranges, presented a strange sight with its white mantle, but for the children it was perhaps the unique opportunity of a childhood to play in the snow.
The city's tourist spots, including the Wailing Wall and Omar Mosque, were photographed a seldom before.
Schools, offices, and shops were largely empty on Monday, phone and power supplies were cut off, and the Jerusalem to Tel Aviv road blocked by drifts.