Storm in Mecca, faithful swept away by the wind: flooding and hardships. VIDEO

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Violent thunderstorms, accompanied by lightning and wind gusts of up to 80 kilometers per hour, hit the region of Mecca and the holy city for Islam yesterday. In the videos released on social networks, pilgrims who were performing tawaf – walking around the Kaaba – can be seen slipping due to the intense rainfall and wind. Other images, collected by Al Jazeera, show citizens of Mecca and pilgrims blown away by the force of the wind. And again, lightning struck the iconic Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower hotel.

Heavy rainfall and flooding

45 millimeters of rain fell in the Al-Kakkiyah neighborhood in 24 hours. Some videos, reports Al Jazeera, also show small floods that have forced people to seek refuge. The rains are not over yet: the forecasts speak in fact of further storms for today, which bring rain, wind and lightning both on Mecca and in other areas of western Saudi Arabia. Today, as determined by the regional government, schools in some parts of the city have remained closed for safety reasons.

The storm of 2015

The broadcaster also reports that there were no fatalities or serious injuries due to the storm. Storm which – underlines Al Jazeera again – brought conditions apparently similar to those that caused the collapse of a crane at the Great Mosque in 2015, killing more than 100 people and injuring hundreds.