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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘floods’

Severe Rains In Gaza May Mean Terror Tunnels Are Flooded

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Published on Jewish Business News

The UN Palestine refugee agency UNRWA on Thursday evening declared a state of emergency in Gaza City amid massive rains that have shut down normal life in the city, Ma’an reported. This could also mean damage to the hundreds of underground tunnels that are still being dug fastidiously by Hamas, in preparation for the next war.

Thursday marks the fourth straight day of unusually heavy rain across the region, causing temperatures to dip across the coastal region.

In early November, the Egyptian army launched a program to destroy newly discovered hundreds of tunnels leading from Gaza into the Sinai, which had been used by Gaza jihadists to attack Egyptian security forces. In only a matter of days, the Egyptians cleared 10,000 residents from about 800 homes along the strip’s southern border, to erect an 8-mile buffer where anyone entering would be shot without a warning.

Unlike Israel, the Egyptians can be decisive on fighting terrorism, and they don’t catch international flak for it, either.

Since Israel evacuated its military and civilians from Gaza, in 2005, the PLO and then the Hamas governments have not invested a penny in upgrading the sewer systems and the roads, and so each rainy season sees the strip sitting under lakes of water and human waste. The major storm that brought a blessing to Israel this past week has filled the streets of Gaza City once again with water and sewage, causing further misery for the more than 100,000 Palestinians left homeless, including an estimated 30,000 in emergency shelters.

UNRWA announced that 63 schools across Gaza City and 43 schools across the northern Gaza Strip had been closed Thursday due to the flooding.

Hundreds of residents in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City had also been evacuated due to the rise of a “storm water lagoon” that had flooded many homes in the area.

“The flooding is exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza caused by blockade and the unprecedented destruction from the latest Israeli offensive,” the UN agency said in a post on its Facebook page.

Back in 2013, Egyptian forces flooded the tunnels under the border with the Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down. A Reuters reporter saw one tunnel suddenly fill with water, sending workers rushing for safety. Locals said two other tunnels were also flooded, as the Egyptians were deliberately pumping in water.

“The Egyptians have opened the water to drown the tunnels,” Abu Ghassan, who supervised the work of 30 men at one tunnel, 200 yards from the border, told Reuters. And an Egyptian security official in the Sinai told Reuters: “We are using water to close the tunnels by raising water from one of the wells.”

But when it rains heavily, as it did this week, Gaza is prone to severe flooding, leading to the displacement of thousands. The floods are exacerbated by a chronic lack of fuel that limits how much water can be pumped out of flood-stricken areas.

Which means that the effect the Egyptians achieved by diverting well water into the tunnels is now achieved by natural forces.

The tunnels into Israel were constructed using the expertise of the Rafah families who have specialized in digging tunnels into Egypt for commerce and smuggling, and have been described by former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya as representative of “a new strategy in confronting the occupation and in the conflict with the enemy from underground and from above the ground.”

The Israeli military has estimated that Hamas spent as much as $90 million, pouring 600,000 tons of concrete, in building three dozen tunnels. Some of these tunnels were estimated to have cost $3 million to construct.

Unexpected Downpour Swells Lake Kinneret, Creates Havoc in Israel

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The sun peeked out just long enough Thursday afternoon for Israelis to see the flooding caused by the “sound and light show” they endured over Wednesday night.

Cracks of thunder and long streaks of lightning interspersed with the downpour that sent sheets of rain down through the skies over Israel, drenching the entire country.

Downpours at this time of year are unusual but not unheard of, meteorologist said. By mid-afternoon Thursday, the skies in southern Israel were once again filled with leaden clouds that appeared once more to be pregnant with rain. It was not clear whether in fact more precipitation was on the way; the forecast calls for the possibility for rain, continuing even into as Friday morning.

Rain is considered a blessing in this part of the world no matter when it arrives. There has been a 2.5-centimeter (one inch) rise in the water level of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) as a result of the record-breaking downpour.

But some may have seen it as a mixed blessing: Fifteen members of the Bnei Akiva youth group were trapped in a southern Israeli parking lot due to the flooding. They were rescued by special teams and evacuated from the scene by helicopter. IDF vehicles prepared to enter the area to help evacuate remaining hikers who had been touring in the area.

Bezeq phone lines were still down around the Dead Sea area at midday and service was sporadic at best.

Cell phone companies were scrambling to restore service in the central region. In the Jerusalem area, Cellcom customers reported all kinds of difficulties in placing their calls and in sending text messages Thursday afternoon.

The company had not formulated a response to the complaints by mid-afternoon.

Further south, near Eilat, Route 90 was still closed to traffic by late afternoon due to flash flooding that swamped the road after a night of thunder and lightning that swept Israel from north to south. Route 31, which had been closed earlier in the day, is now open.

Colorado Floods Close Boulder Synagogue on Yom Kippur

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

A killer flood in Colorado submerged a synagogue and a rabbi’s home in Boulder County, and the Chabad synagogue rabbi is thankful that Torah scrolls were saved with the help of students from the nearby University of Colorado.

“Thank G‑d, the students have been immensely helpful moving the Torahs and other sacred items to higher ground” before Yom Kippur,” Rabbi Yisrael Wilhelm told a Chabad website.

Several deaths have been reported, and 500 people are unaccounted for, with more rain expected Sunday from Denver to the Wyoming border.

Thousands of people have been evacuated or have fled their homes during the flood that has drenched some areas with up to 14 inches of rain, seven times the average amount for the entire month of September.

JTA contributed to this report.

 

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-news/colorado-floods-close-boulder-synagogue-on-yom-kippur/2013/09/15/

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