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Watch: Pilgrims Getting Swept Away by Strong Winds in Mecca Storm

August 23, 2023
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Saudi Arabia was hit by severe lightning storms and strong easterly winds on Tuesday (August 22) which led to widespread damage across the nation. The stormy weather’s brunt was borne by the cities of Mecca and Jeddah, as well as several other regions.

Many dramatic videos of the strong storm were shared on social media platforms which showed the formidable strength of the wind which was so intense that it managed to remove heavy plastic barriers. The movement of Umrah pilgrims, who were present in the Grand Mosque of Mecca, was also threatened by the same gusts. 

The videos, which showed the severity of the storm, documented the collapse of power poles amid torrential rain and storm on Asfan Road, northeast of Jeddah. In several video clips, electricity poles were seen leaning precariously over roads and showed a picture of the unstable weather condition. 

Earlier reports suggested that Jeddah was enveloped in a dust storm as dense clouds of dust were seen filling the skies.

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National Meteorological Centre issues alert

The National Meteorological Centre of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday morning (August 22) issued an alert detailing the predominant weather conditions of the country over the next 24 hours. Weather experts have forecasted thunderstorms along with active wind for regions like Medina, Mecca, Asir, Jazan, and Al Baha.

Meanwhile, Tabuk and Najran regions are likely to see surface winds which will stir up dust. Rafha, Hafr Al Batin and AlSaman have reported peak temperatures of 47 degrees Celsius, while a low of 14 degrees Celsius was experienced by  Al Suda where humidity levels soared to 95 per cent.

Famous weather expert Abdullah Al Osaimi said that such weather patterns hint at the autumn season’s onset in October.


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