15 hurt, 4 seriously in accidents linked to stormy weather
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15 hurt, 4 seriously in accidents linked to stormy weather

10-year-old girl badly hurt near Modi'in, 70-year-old pedestrian hit near Rehovot and 24-year-old woman hospitalized after her car overturns in northern Galilee

Emergency crews cut a tree blocking the road in the Israeli town of Netanya, north of Tel Aviv, after it fell due to heavy winds as a storm hit the country on January 18, 2018. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)
Emergency crews cut a tree blocking the road in the Israeli town of Netanya, north of Tel Aviv, after it fell due to heavy winds as a storm hit the country on January 18, 2018. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

Fifteen people were hurt, four of them seriously, in four traffic accidents believed linked to stormy weather nationwide.

On Route 3 near the Nahshon Junction southwest of Modi’in, two vehicles collided, injuring nine. One of the wounded, a 10-year-old girl, sustained serious injuries to her head and chest, according to Hebrew media report.

The girl was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in southern Jerusalem, while the other passengers, all lightly hurt, were taken to Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot.

Large waves at Jaffa Port, January 19, 2018. (Yaakov Lederman/FLASH90)

Another accident on Route 1, the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, a vehicle plunged off the road and into a ditch. Two men, aged 30 and 19, were seriously hurt.

In the north, near the Bedouin village of Aramshe adjacent to the Lebanese border, a 24-year-old woman was seriously hurt when a vehicle overturned on the mountain road.

And not far from Rehovot, a 70-year-old pedestrian was hit by a car. He was taken to Kaplan Hospital with a serious head injury.

People enjoy the snow in the Druze village of Majdal Shams, in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, on January 19, 2018. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

The accidents came amid a powerful storm that hit Israel late Thursday and continued into Friday morning, dropping large quantities of rain, particularly in the north, closing roads and bringing wind gusts in excess of 120 kilometers per hour in Tel Aviv.

The weather made many roads more dangerous to motorists, authorities warned.

A restaurant owner inspects damage to a beach restaurant after a winter storm hit the Israeli Mediterranean coastal town of Netanya, north of Tel Aviv, on January 19, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ)

The coastal highway, Route 2, was shut near the Yanai Junction north of Netanya because of floodwaters and mudslides that made parts of the highway extremely dangerous. Route 977 in the Galilee was closed from Gome Junction to Kibbutz Neot Mordechai after a tree fell onto the road. Route 581 near Kibbutz Ein Hahoresh, near Hadera, was also closed, as well as the entrance road to Tel Mond, both of them due to trees that fell on the road.

Two people were very lightly hurt when a tree fell on their car in Bet Shean. A 46-year-old motorcyclist was lightly hurt when his vehicle slid to avoid a tree that fell across a road in Ramat Gan. Fallen trees were reported blocking roads in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Hadera, Netanya and Even Yehuda.

Parts of Route 90 along the shore of the Dead Sea were also closed Friday for fear of flash floods headed toward the sea from the riverbeds of the Judean desert.

Power outages hit Ashkelon, Haifa, Hadera, Netanya, Ashdod, Ramat Gan, Kafr Kassem, Tira, Kfar Saba, Dimona, Rehovot, Rishon Lezion, Qalanswa and the central West Bank, but power was restored within a couple hours as Israel Electric Corporation crews worked through the night on repairs.

The outages were mostly caused by power lines that fell due to wind gusts or fallen trees, leading the Electric Corporation to issue a warning against the danger of fallen electrical wires.

The small village of Dalton in the northern Galilee received the greatest amount of rain overnight, with 45 millimeters (1.8 inches) falling overnight. Forty millimeters fell on the northern Golan Heights, 36mm along the Lebanese border and 34mm on the mountaintop Galilee city of Safed. The rest of the country also experienced significant rainfall with Jerusalem receiving 23mm, Haifa 19mm, Tel Aviv 15mm, and even Beersheba, the desert metropolis in the south, an unexpected 10mm.

Mount Hermon, Israel highest mountain, saw 15 centimeters (6 inches) of snowfall on its peak, but heavy winds mean the ski site at the mountain will remain closed Friday.

The stormy weather was set to die down by Friday afternoon, but temperatures will remain unusually cold for this time of the year. Rain is expected to return on Monday.

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