A picture taken on August 22, 2023 shows lightning over Mecca's clock tower in Saudi Arabia. Fierce storms closed schools on August 23 the desert kingdom's Mecca region, home to the holy Grand Mosque which was lashed by heavy rains and wind overnight, witnesses said. (Photo by Hammad Al-Huthali / AFP) (Photo by HAMMAD AL-HUTHALI/AFP via Getty Images)

The Holy Islamic cities and sights of Mecca, Madinah and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia were beset with storms toward the end of August. According to Al Jazeera, the extreme storms closed schools and also severely impacted pilgrims who were there to perform Umrah (minor pilgrimage.)

Videos posted online on August 22 showed pilgrims who were doing the tawaf—circling the Kaaba— getting soaked and slipping on the floor as heavy rains thrashed and carried objects around, reported Aljazeera.com. Another video showed a bolt of lightning striking the Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower hotel, which houses hotels, resorts ad a shopping mall for permanent residents as well as pilgrims. It is one of the tallest buildings in the world.

According to various news reports, nearly two inches of rain and 50-mile-per-hour winds impacted Mecca. There were no casualties reported. According to France 24, footage shared with AFP by Mecca residents showed pilgrims outside the Grand Mosque who were toppled over by the wind, which also sent crowd barriers sliding across the rain-slicked floor.