13 Dec 2010

Widespread storms in mid-east

3:20 pm on 13 December 2010

Heavy rains and strong winds are causing widespread disruption in the eastern Mediterranean for a second day.

The BBC reports the storms have sunk a ship off the Israeli coast, closed ports and disrupted shipping in the Suez Canal.

Flights have also been delayed to and from many airports in the region.

The storms have ended a long drought in Lebanon, Syria and Israel where more than 40 people died in a forest fire near Haifa recently.

Shipping has been delayed through the Suez Canal and most Egyptian ports on both the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

At least three people died when a factory collapsed in Alexandria.

Waves of up to 10 metres damaged fishing boats in Lebanon. In Syria, snow blanketed the streets of the capital, Damascus, and closed roads.