MIDDLE EAST

Storm Yohan lashes Mideast, shuts Suez Canal

Waves break on Beirut’s seaside corniche in Ain al-Mreisseh during a heavy storm on February 11, 2015. (AFP)

A fierce storm which lashed Egypt, Israel and Lebanon on Wednesday, forcing the closure of the Suez Canal and grounding domestic flights in Israel, could last until Saturday experts have warned

“The wind will remain strong Thursday, but it will be lighter than Wednesday,” A meteorological department source at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport told Lebanon’s The Daily Star.

“There’s a possibility for the storm to last until Saturday, as the intensity of the rain will subside starting Friday night.”

On Wednesday, the storm wreaked havoc across Lebanon, inflicting massive damage to the coast and forcing road closures.

The skyline of Cairo was barely visible as dust blown in from the surrounding desert hung in the air and shrouded the Egyptian capital for a second day, Agence France-Presse reported.

Some incoming flights were diverted to other airports in the country, but most air traffic was routed as normal, an airport official said.

The Suez Canal southeast of Cairo was closed Wednesday, with 52 ships waiting to enter from the Red Sea as winds reached 74 kilometers per hour, officials told AFP.

Traffic would resume once the storm subsides, the officials said.

The health ministry advised Egyptians to wear masks when leaving their homes.

In neighboring Israel, the domestic carrier Arkia said it had grounded flights for several hours until 1400 GMT because of bad weather.

(With AFP)

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Last Update: Thursday, 12 February 2015 KSA 16:23 - GMT 13:23
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Storm Yohan lashes Mideast, shuts Suez Canal
Egypt’s Suez Canal was closed Wednesday, with 52 ships waiting to enter as winds reached 74 kilometers per hour
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