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Ensour announces Thursday a public holiday, checks on efforts to deal with harsh weather

By JT - Jan 07,2015 - Last updated at Jan 07,2015

AMMAN — Ministries and government departments will observe a public holiday on Thursday due to the prevailing weather conditions, according to a communiqué issued by Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour on Wednesday, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The premier had announced Wednesday as a public holiday for the same reason.

All banks operating in the Kingdom will observe a public holiday on Thursday, the Central Bank of Jordan also announced on Wednesday, according to Petra.

Snow started falling in several areas of the Kingdom on Wednesday, as the effect of a polar front and depression peaked.

Temperatures this week are forecast to remain 10-13 degrees below their annual average of 13°C during this time of year, while snowfall is expected in areas located 700 metres above sea level and higher, which includes the capital, the Jordan Meteorological Department said on Tuesday.

Authorities have advised the public not to go out unless in cases of absolute emergency to avoid jamming the streets.

Also on Wednesday, Ensour, accompanied by Interior Minister Hussein Majali and Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani, checked on the preparations of public departments to deal with the severe weather, Petra reported.

The premier visited the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management, the Greater Amman Municipality’s emergency centre in Tlaa Ali, and the ministries of municipal affairs and public works.

For the first time this year, the crisis management centre, Ensour said, is coordinating the efforts of all agencies working in the field to ensure the best results.

He commended the efforts of the public and private sectors, in addition to security departments, the army and volunteers, noting that their work “is purely patriotic”.

But all these efforts will be worthless without the cooperation of the public in abiding by the instructions issued to ensure safety and avoid disrupting the work to help those in need, the premier added.

“From now on, we don’t want to feel that snow causes a crisis in Jordan. We want to see life going on as normal as possible,” Petra quoted him as saying.

Ensour commended HRH Prince Ali’s efforts as head of the national crisis management centre, wishing him the best of luck in his bid for the FIFA presidency, announced on Tuesday.

For his part, Majali said His Majesty King Abdullah has ordered that food supplies be provided to families in remote areas.

The Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army and security services will supervise the distribution of the aid, Majali said.

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