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May 24, 2016 / 16 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘storm’

Electric Workers’ ‘Italian Strike’ Keeps 200,000 Israeli Homes Dark after Storm

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

(JNi.media) An Italian strike, also known among Leninist scholars as Work-to-rule, is an industrial action in which employees do no more than the minimum required by the rules of their contract, and precisely follow safety or other regulations in order to cause a slowdown, rather than to serve their purposes. In Italy, this action is known as “sciopero bianco,” or white strike. In Israel, one such strike this week has caused a wave of irritation and rage, whose outcome is not yet clear, in an estimated 200,000 households.

IEC CEO Ofer Bloch apologized on Tuesday morning in a special session of the Knesset State Control Committee, to hundreds of thousands of Electric Company customers who lost their service during a storm Sunday, and were left in the dark for between one and two days. As of Tuesday morning in Israel, there are still at least 8,000 households without service.

“As a service provider of an essential service, we apologize are making every effort to restore power as quickly as possible,” Bloch told the committee, explaining that with the onset of the storm some 200,000 customers had been cut off. “This is an unprecedented event in the history of the country,” he argued. “In the last 48 hours, I’ve been going around and meeting with workers and hearing from them that none of them remember a situation like this where huge trees fell and lay on power lines and electricity was cut off to entire communities. 340 power lines collapsing, it is a fantastic figure.”

Be that as it may, and IEC employee memory notwithstanding, at 7 PM Monday, many hours after those 200,000 households had lost power in historic proportions, the IEC management appealed to the Haifa District Labor Court with a complaint that their workers’ committee was sabotaging the functioning of the company in a time of crisis, and asked the President of the Tribunal, Judge Alex Kogan, to order heads of the committee to stop doing that, according to Ha’aretz.

The descriptions management offered to the labor court reflected a level of disruption that caused management’s complete loss of control over the situation, even after it declared a state of emergency.

From the same IEC complaint it turns out that the workers’ committee ordered employees—in the emergency headquarters management had set up—to end their shift promptly at 5 PM Sunday and leave the area. In fact, the same report alleged that the emergency headquarters were abandoned as early as 3 PM Sunday, despite the fact that between 150 and 200 thousand households were still cut off and were calling for help.

In addition, the workers’ committee banned moving maintenance staff between trouble spots. Workers in Ashdod, for example, were not allowed to go to Ra’anana to help their colleagues, who were collapsing under the weight of system failures in the Sharon valley—Israel’s multi-million resident bedroom community north of Tel Aviv). In addition, the committee prevented maintenance workers from helping to connect electricity to homes, because this task is outisde their job description.

According to company executives, the committee eliminated the reinforcement of network supervisors, who are required to monitor power lines quickly and effect damage control. And so, with 300 power lines down, only a single supervisor was on duty — working from home, Homer Simpson style.

In addition, the committee instructed employees not to comply with management’s orders regarding a change in shift hours, but to come to work in the morning as usual and finish in the afternoon, like any day — depriving Management of the ability to extend its response and effect repairs through the night.

JNi.Media

Thousands of Israeli Families Still ‘Powerless’ for 24 Hours After Winter Storm

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Monday morning dawned grey and cold and wet and powerless for thousands of Israeli families in central Israel whose homes were hit on Sunday with the first winter storm of the season.

Hundreds of thousands of homes suffered intermittent blackouts.

High winds, rain and hail led to hundreds of homes losing power and basic infrastructure being damaged in some areas, according to the Israel Electric Company. Fallen trees damaged power lines in many areas, creating further damage but also dangerous situations in neighborhoods with children and pets.

Gusts of up to 75 to 92 kilometers per hour were recorded at Ben Gurion International Airport, which remained open despite the rain and hail. Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv was closed by the Israel Airports Authority for several hours but reopened by the afternoon.

By Monday morning, some homes Herzliya, Ra’anana, Netanya, Hadera, Ramle, Kfar Saba, Ness Ziona, Rehovot and even in some Tel Aviv neighborhoods were still without power.

A construction worker was killed in Pardes Hanna, and two people were hurt when a ten collapsed in the Jewish community of Har Bracha in Samaria. Flash flooding brought rescue workers out in force to extract people from vehicles unexpectedly caught in the storm, and people trapped in elevators when the power went out.

By mid-morning Monday, the sun was peeking out, however, despite a forecast that held the promise of more rain for later in the day and into the week, possibly until Thursday.

Hana Levi Julian

Snow Falls in Jerusalem; Israel Braces for ‘Maximum’ Storm

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Snow is falling in Jerusalem as the country braces for what may be the biggest winter storm of the year. A light blanket of white dropped upon the hills and mountains in Israel’s northern region.

Residents hunkered down under frigid temperatures, gale force winds and unusually high waves along Israel’s Mediterranean coast. Government officials met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to make final preparations on services needed to meet any challenges that could arise during the bad weather.

Roads were closed down due to difficult conditions in several areas in northern Israel, with the strong possibility that the same might happen on the main arteries into Jerusalem, depending on the level of snow accumulation.

Icy rain had already begun falling by Thursday morning as far south as the northern Negev desert. “It is a maximum storm,” Arad resident Coby Schneider told JewishPress.com. “Raining and absolutely freezing and they say we will see snow here too.”

Precipitation is expected to continue Friday, with strong winds through the Sabbath and the possibility of flooding as well.

Hana Levi Julian

Stormy Weather in Israel May Interfere with Travel Plans

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Israelis are preparing for incoming stormy weather tonight (Feb. 9-10) that will include gale-force winds and rain, according to predictions by meteorologists.

As a result, the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) is calling upon travelers to plan to arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport as early as possible for scheduled flights, and to check the status of the flight with the airlines before setting out on the road.

Staff at the airport are in the process of securing and evacuating objects that could come loose in the wind, a spokesperson said. Airlines have received information about the possibility of delays due to the expected stormy weather ahead, the IAA said.

Passengers were warned to expect difficult road conditions and possible traffic jams; as usual, it is best to arrive three hours before scheduled departures.

Updated flight schedules are available on the IAA website and on its smartphone application.

Hana Levi Julian

Northeastern United States Gears Up for Epic Blizzard

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Forecasters are predicting another “epic” blizzard that could top the one that buried New York and surrounds last winter.

The “potentially historic” snowstorm could dump up to three feet of snow along a swathe from New Jersey as far as southern Maine, according to the National Weather Service.

New Yorkers were out in force as early as Sunday to stock up on essentials, such as candles, matches, snow shovels, rock salt to melt the expected ice on their sidewalks and extra food supplies.

The blizzard warning was issued as early as this weekend, with shoppers already out in force to scour the store shelves in a 250-mile stretch along the northeastern United States. “Milk, cereal, snacks for the kids, orange juice – in general I made sure we had enough food to last through the storm for the next two or three days,” Brooklynite Shlomit Belilos told JewishPress.com late Sunday night.

Heavy snow, gale-force winds and widespread coastal flooding is predicted in New York starting sometime late Monday afternoon or early evening and continuing on into Tuesday. Snow is expected to fall at a rate of up to two inches per hour at some points.

“This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said gravely at a news conference held Sunday. Holding up a list of the Big Apple’s Top Ten Snowstorms, de Blasio said the predicted blizzard could make the list, which dates back to 1872.

“Don’t underestimate this storm,” he warned. “Prepare for the worst,” he advised New Yorkers, telling them to plan to leave work early today (Monday, Jan. 26.) Forecasters predict that New York City could be buried under snow drifts as high as 26 inches or more.

More than 1,700 flights are expected to cancel departures and arrivals at airports along the Eastern Coast. Airlines have already prepared to shut down operations at major airports, according to the FlightAware tracking site.

Philadelphia could see between 14 to 18 inches, and Boston is expected to get between 18 to 24 inches of snow, with up to three feet west of Beantown.

Wind gusts of 75 miles per hour or more are possible for coastal areas of Massachusetts, bringing with them coastal flooding, and up to 50 mph winds further inland.

Hana Levi Julian

Stormy Knesset Session

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

H/T: Jameel@Muqata

Photo of the Day

1 Million Evacuated in Philippines Typhoon

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

One million people were evacuated Saturday as powerful typhoon Hagupit roared into the eastern Philippines.

Trees crashed in the pouring rain and whipping wind, bringing down power lines and ripping the tin roofs off small homes as the storm made landfall.

Most of the central island of Samar and nearby Leyte province, including Tacloban City, lost power.

But officials and coordinators of first responders were cheerful as they spoke to reporters, saying they had things “under control.”

So far, there has been no report of any casualties, in fact, despite winds of up to 110 miles per hour (175 kph) near the center and packing gusts of up to 130 mph (210 kph).

Hagupit, which means “lash” in Filipino, is being called “Ruby” by local forecasters and government officials.

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas urged citizens over government radio to leave their homes in order to stay safe. “Ruby’s lashing will be severe,” he said. “Let’s be alert. Let’s evacuate to prevent any harm to your families.”

Approximately 100 domestic flights were canceled in the interest of safety.

But the typhoon was not expected to reach the capital, Manila, forecasters said.

Last year, typhoon Yolanda caused tremendous damage to the city of Ormoc, which has a large number of fishermen. The powerful typhoon destroyed their boats, and many were left without the means to support their families.

IsraAID in partnership with Philos provided the fishermen 11 motorized boats which enabled them to reach deep water, where better quality fish can be found, and then sold on the market.

Such fish also find their way to the kosher markets in Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/1-million-evacuated-in-philippines-typhoon/2014/12/07/

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