A surprise blizzard swept the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Monday (10 February). It was the?
GV PAN ACROSS Snow falling in Damascus square
SV&CU Traffic jams forming (3 shots)
SV People walking through snow (2 shots)
GV People on pavement as snow falls
SV Snow-covered care and shop signs (2 shots)
SV&CV Children playing in snow (2 shots)
Initials ET/2120 ET/2131
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Background: A surprise blizzard swept the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Monday (10 February). It was the first time snow had fallen in the capital during February for many years.
The blizzard hit Lebanon overnight and moved eastwards into Syria during the early morning, blocking roads and breaking communication links. Special teams are in action to re-establish telephone contact between Damascus and the Lebanese capital, Beirut, and to re-open the main road between the two cities.
Damascus itself was cut off for a while by the ferocity of the unseasonal snowstorm. Traffic came to a halt in the streets of the city when drivers found routes snowbound.
The main road south into Jordan has also been blocked by the snow. People living on high ground throughout the snow-affected area have been advised to move to low-lying areas for fear of landslides.
Three people where killed when a ski chalet collapsed under the weight of snow in Lebanon, and one man died of exposure in the Jordanian capital, Amman. There were no casualties however, among the eleven man crew of a Greek freighter which ran aground on the Syrian coast during the blizzard.