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WEATHER

Wild Weather Wreaks Havoc in Middle East

A recent stretch of unsettled weather across the Middle East is expected to continue through at least the middle of the week.

The wild weather ranged from strong thunderstorms in Afghanistan to flooding in southern parts of the Arabian Peninsula to hail storms across northern Saudi Arabia.

The unsettled weather began almost a week ago when a thunderstorm brought heavy rain, wind and damaging hail to southern Afghanistan. The storm hit a military base damaging about 50 helicopters, according to a service member at Kandahar Airfield.

The bad weather was not limited to southern Afghanistan, as parts of the north experienced flash flooding that resulted in at least 20 deaths and destroyed thousands of homes.

Flash flooding was a major issue from Yemen into southern Saudi Arabia and Oman since last week, as several rounds of heavy rainfall targeted the region.

Flash flooding across Oman forced the Royal Oman Police (ROP) into action as helicopter rescues were increased in frequency over the weekend. More than 50 people were rescued by the aircraft.

Reports from the ROP indicate that at least 12 people have died in the rounds of flash flooding in the past week.

In Yemen, heavy rainfall led to flash flooding in the capital city of Sana'a which in turn led to travel problems.

Another round of stormy weather erupted across northern Saudi Arabia over the weekend as storms blanketed the ground with hailstones around the city of Ha'il. Rainfall amounts totaled more than an inch on Saturday, surpassing the monthly average for all of April in a single day.