Two girls hurt, one seriously, as gusting winds topple tree north of Tel Aviv
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Two girls hurt, one seriously, as gusting winds topple tree north of Tel Aviv

Elementary students were waiting for school bus when palm tree fell on them; hiking trails closed, firefighters on alert ahead of unusually dry, windy weather conditions

A Magen David Adom rescuers walks beside a palm tree knocked over by the wind in Kibbutz Bahan north of Tel Aviv on November 18, 2019, injuring two girls. (Screen capture/MDA footage)
A Magen David Adom rescuers walks beside a palm tree knocked over by the wind in Kibbutz Bahan north of Tel Aviv on November 18, 2019, injuring two girls. (Screen capture/MDA footage)

Two elementary school students were hurt, one seriously, when a palm tree collapsed on them as they waited for a school bus north of Tel Aviv on Monday morning.

The tree was knocked over by powerful winds as the country braced for unusually windy weather.

The incident took place at a stop for school buses in Kibbutz Bahan in the Sharon region near the coastal city of Netanya, just as the children were lining up for the bus.

One girl, 8, suffered injuries throughout her body and was taken to the hospital in moderate condition, medics said. Hospital officials later said her condition had worsened and was considered serious. The second girl, 9, was lightly hurt in her arms and leg.

Magen David Adom rescuers treat an 8-year-old girl hurt when a palm tree was knocked over by gusting winds in Kibbutz Bahan north of Tel Aviv on November 18, 2019. (Screen capture/MDA footage)

One of the girls was taken to Laniado Hospital in Netanya, and the other to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba.

The high winds on the coastal plains have been felt for the past few days. On Monday, temperatures were expected to drop further, and winds will pick up even more in the northern and central hills, with sand and haze expected to arrive midweek.

The Nature and Parks Authority announced it was closing a large number of hiking trails throughout the country in expectation of potentially dangerous weather conditions in those areas, including popular trails in the Carmel mountains in the north and the El Al and Jilaboun riverbeds.

Firefighters have also upgraded brushfire warnings in most of the country, with the incoming weather system expected to reduce humidity in many areas.

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