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4,000 Amman trees damaged by snowstorm — GAM

By Hana Namrouqa - Jan 05,2014 - Last updated at Jan 05,2014

AMMAN — Last month’s snowstorm took a heavy toll on the country’s forestry sector, with 4,000 trees damaged in the capital alone, an official at the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) said on Sunday.

“Thousands of trees were lost due to the heavy snow and the strong winds, the majority of which were pine trees; a truly heavy loss,” Mohammad Quteish, head of GAM’s Parks Directorate, told The Jordan Times.

Earlier this week, the municipality concluded the process of collecting broken branches and fallen trees from across the capital, with its initial estimates indicating that the cost of the damaged trees is around JD1 million.

“More than 3,000 trucks unloaded over 1,500 tonnes of wood at landfills. The wood will be then transferred to several Agriculture Ministry directorates across the country,” Quteish said.

In mid-December last year, the country was affected by a polar depression that brought heavy snow to most areas of the Kingdom.

Public and private institutions, universities and schools were closed for several days as snow accumulation reached 70 centimetres in certain areas of the capital and higher in the southern and northern regions.

Quteish said the municipality will soon launch a campaign to plant new saplings to replace the uprooted trees, noting that the initiative will coincide with Arbour Day, celebrated annually on January 15.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture said thousands of trees were damaged in the Kingdom’s forests, especially in the north, where forest density is high.

Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin told The Jordan Times that the Forestry Department will soon issue a report identifying the number and type of damaged trees.

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