Elderly man dies of hypothermia in Netanya as storm causes injuries, damage
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Elderly man dies of hypothermia in Netanya as storm causes injuries, damage

80-year-old found in his apartment; Ben Gurion Airport briefly closed due to strong winds, rains

Strong winds blow away a tent at the Givati Infantry Brigade's training base in southern Israel, December 12, 2019. (Screen capture: Twitter)
Strong winds blow away a tent at the Givati Infantry Brigade's training base in southern Israel, December 12, 2019. (Screen capture: Twitter)

Stormy weather lashed the coastline Thursday and began to move inland, causing numerous injuries and damage to cars and buildings.

In Netanya, an 80-year-old man was found unconscious in his apartment suffering from hypothermia. Paramedics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service sought to resuscitate him and brought him to the coastal city’s Laniado Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Israel Meteorological Service said temperatures were expected to further drop in the coming days, dipping into the mid-40 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of northern and central Israel.

Powerful winds and rain briefly closed Ben Gurion Airport, forcing an incoming El Al flight to land for the first time at Ramon airport near the southern city of Eilat.

The Magen David Adom rescue service said a number of people were hurt in weather-related incidents around the country.

In the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Bialik, a 40-year-old man was moderately to seriously hurt by a felled tree.

Part of the stone facing of a building in Ashdod hit a 33-year-old man in the head, leaving him with a moderate head injury.

A restaurant umbrella blown away in a gust of wind struck a 46-year-old man in Tel Aviv, lightly injuring him. An 81-year-old woman in nearby Rishon Lezion was also lightly hurt by a parasol that blew away in the wind.

All of those injured were taken to local hospitals.

At a Givati Infanty Brigade base near the Egyptian border, four soldiers were lightly hurt by a large tent that blew away in the wind. One was taken to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba and the rest were treated at the base.

In Beersheba, several cars were damaged by trees felled by gusting winds, which were reported to reach as high as 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) in areas of southern and central Israel.

The ski resort at Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights was to be shuttered for the weekend due to the expected weather conditions.

The meteorological service forecast rain, strong winds and thunder and lightning in northern and central Israel throughout the day. It warned of potential flash floods in the Judean Desert.

The stormy weather was likely to continue over the weekend, with the meteorological service saying temperatures were expected to be slightly lower than the seasonal average on Saturday.

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