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Fierce Storm Hits Makkah: Lightning and Winds Disrupt Pilgrimage

The Grand Mosque and pilgrims are affected by a fierce storm in Makkah

On Tuesday, strong winds, heavy rain, and thunderstorms hit Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Makkah, leaving pilgrims unable to walk and garbage bins flying.

The Khaleej Times reported that locals and pilgrims fled for safety as strong winds battered Masjid Al-Haram.

According to Hussein al-Qahtani, spokesperson for the National Center for Meteorology, 80 kilometers per hour winds accompanied the storm. A similar storm resulted in the tragic collapse of a crane at the Grand Mosque in 2015, killing over 100 people. The storm on Tuesday did not result in any casualties.

It is forecast that unstable weather conditions will continue in the province and certain parts of the kingdom, as predicted by the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM). Social media platforms flooded with videos and pictures showing the storm’s impact on the holy city.

Among the dramatic moments captured was the sight of a lightning bolt striking the Abraj Al-Bait, also known as the Clock Towers. This iconic image, shared on August 22, 2023, symbolizes the intersection of nature’s force with the city’s architectural magnificence.

Saudi Arabia's clock tower was struck by lightning
Saudi Arabia’s clock tower was struck by lightning on August 22, 2023. — AFP

The city of Makkah grapples with the effects of the storm’s aftermath. The disruptions serve as a reminder of the forces of nature that can briefly disturb the tranquility of a place held in deep reverence by millions around the world.

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