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 kingdom's Mecca region, home to the holy Grand Mosque which was lashed by heavy rains and wind overnight, witnesses said. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: A breathtaking video that captured lightning striking Saudi Arabia’s renowned clock tower in Mecca has taken the internet by storm.

Overlooking the sacred Kaaba, the world’s largest clock tower was illuminated by a brilliant streak of lightning, shedding light over the entire city.

The mesmerizing moment was captured by photographer Youssef Bajjash. Elaborating on his experience, Bajjash said: “As soon as the clouds began forming in Mecca, I ascended to a vantage point to capture the flash of lightning.”

“I was fortunate to seize the exact moment the lightning touched the Mecca Clock Tower, producing this awe-inspiring sight,” he added.

Other footage shared across social platforms highlighted the challenges faced by pilgrims attempting to circumambulate the Kaaba. Many had to expertly navigate around barriers that were unpredictably shifted by the winds.

The National Centre of Meteorology had earlier forecast that cumulus thunder-clouds would hover over several regions, including Asir, Jazan, Al Baha, and Mecca, with projections of moderate to heavy rainfall, potentially accompanied by hail. Local reports confirmed that various parts of Mecca experienced heavy downpour. The weather not only impacted the holy sites but also stirred emotions.

Authorities referred to the rain as a “watering of mercy and blessings,” particularly given the rising temperatures in the region.

Part of the King Abdul Aziz Endowment Project, the clock tower’s inception can be traced back to the construction of a series of hotel towers near the Grand Mosque.

Designed by SL Rasch in the late 2006, the clock tower combines modern and Islamic art.

A noteworthy feature of the tower is the world’s largest crescent, positioned atop its spire. Made entirely of carbon fiber, it houses the world’s most expansive prayer room.

The clock, crafted by Perrot from Germany, is a feat of engineering. Towering 450 meters above ground, its hands alone span 22 meters constructed from layers of carbon fiber laminate.