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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Four Arrested for Violating Fire Ban, Igniting Blaze Near Nataf

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

by Andrew Friedman Jerusalem Police said Wednesday they arrested four employees of a contractor working on a road near the Nataf community.

The men are suspected of igniting a bonfire that got out of control and ignited the blaze that currently threatens the community. It is not clear whether the original fire was an intentional act of arson or a careless mistake.

The arrests followed the declaration Tuesday of a fire ban covering nearly the whole country, signed late Tuesday by acting Fire Commissioner Shimon Ben Ner. Violating the ban, which includes bonfires and fires set in open fields, carries a six-month jail sentence or a NIS 74,300 fine.

Dr. Shay Levy, an Ecology, Natural Resources & Environmental Management expert at the University of Haifa and manager of the university’s Institute of Evolution, reiterated the likelihood that the fire was caused by human actions. Levy said the fire ban is consistent with measures taken in other countries with high fire risk.

“In some American states, you can get a $1,000 fine just for striking a match outside on a fire ban day,”’ Levy said.

“The problem is that the regulations are hard to enforce, mainly because the nature of bonfires and picnic barbecues is that they are held away from city streets and urban areas.

“In order to catch offenders before a large fire begins, police would have to put these areas on their patrol beats — something that isn’t necessarily so easy, given their usual duties, or something they are really interested to do,” Levy said.

According to the preliminary findings of the Fire and Rescue Jerusalem Investigating Unit, the current lead is that the fire from Nataf was initiated following a bonfire lit by workmen in the area of the Wind Mountain in Neve Ilan, which corroborates with the findings of the police.

The Acting Commissioner for Fire and Rescue had previously issued an order forbidding the lighting of fires in open areas. As a result, the suspects could be sentenced to six months in jail. The investigation was transferred to the Legal Division of the Jerusalem Fire and Rescue in cooperation with the Israel Police.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

IsraAid, Local Partner Prodev Rush to Help Haiti After Hurricane Matthew [video]

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

The death toll from Hurricane Matthew has spiked over the weekend to more than 870 victims, as the storm travels north into South Carolina, where 300,000 people evacuated ahead of the storm. Matthew had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with “only” 75 mile per hour (137 kilometer per hour) winds as of Saturday afternoon.

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But the hurricane bashed the island nation of Haiti last week. Immediately the day after, IsraAID and local partner Prodev rushed to help the stunned survivors. Responders from the two organizations were the first to provide food and water for 200 children at Cite Soleil, a densely populated and extremely impoverished community in Port-Au-Prince.

Most of the storm’s victims were killed in Haiti, where the storm had packed its hardest punch with winds of more than 233 kilometers per hour (140 mph).

The United Nations has reported that 350,000 Haitians need assistance and 80 percent of the homes in the island nation are damaged.

Property damage firm CoreLogic estimated that the total cost of storm surge and wind damage from the hurricane could cost between $4 and $6 billion on 1.5 million residential and insured residential and commercial properties in the southeastern United States, including Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Not included in the estimate was damage to business owners from loss of hours, power outages, additional flooding and other issues.

Hana Levi Julian

Florida Awaits Hurricane Matthew, Deadliest Storm Since 2004

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The deadliest hurricane since 2004 was expected to strike the eastern Florida coast by Thursday night, prompting the state’s governor to plead with residents to “evacuate, evacuate, evacuate.”

Matthew is a Category 4 hurricane, just one level short of the deadliest storm possible, and considered to be the strongest in decades.

The island nation of Haiti this week lost 98 lives to Matthew; four other people died in the Dominican Republic when the hurricane hit that nation’s coast.

In Florida, a state of emergency has already been declared and some two million residents have been urged by Florida Governor Rick Scott to evacuate their homes in anticipation of damage from the storm. Winds could reach up to 145 miles per hour at landfall.

The Florida governor activated 2,500 members of the National Guard to help keep order as people prepare for the storm. Nearly 1600 flights have already been cancelled. Gas stations are emptying, and grocery store shelves are just about bare. Trains and cruise ships in south Florida are suspending service.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned in a bulletin, “extremely dangerous Hurricane Matthew heading for Florida.” The site has updated advisories on the latest status of the storm, and its current location.

According to The Weather Channel, Matthew is expected to be the strongest Florida East Coast strike since Hurricane Andrew, and likely to also bring similar destruction to the Georgia coast and to the coast of South Carolina, with dangerous, life-threatening storm surge and flooding rains expected.

“The eyewall may deliver the strongest, most destructive winds anyone in parts of the northeast and east-central Florida coast has seen in their lifetime,” according to the site. “The last, and only Category 4 hurricane to make landfall anywhere in northeast Florida or the Georgia coast was an 1898 hurricane south of St. Simons Island, Georgia.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott warned residents in a media briefing on Thursday: “Do not surf. Do not go on the beach. This will kill you… There is no reason not to leave… Millions will lose power, possibly for a long period of time. My goal is to make sure everyone is prepared. Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate.”

Hana Levi Julian

Hot, Dry Weather Leads to Flames, Traffic Jams and Accidents in Israel

Monday, August 1st, 2016

The hot and dry weather that has struck the region has caused numerous power outages around Israel, leading to traffic jams and motor vehicle accidents due to malfunctioning traffic lights.

There were numerous accidents with injured passengers on major arteries in Israel on Monday due to the malfunctioning traffic signals.

The weather has also led to brush fires, forest fires and other issues around the country — including problems with the water in the yishuv of Nehemia. Residents there have been warned by the Health Ministry to “boil any water from the area until further notice, and not to use it for drinking, cooking, preparation of food or medicine or even brushing one’s teeth without first boiling it and straining it.”

In the central part of the Galilee, a team of firefighters battled a forest fire on Monday afternoon between the communities of Tefen and Kfar Horadim.

Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control and said no injuries were reported.

In the Romema neighborhood of Jerusalem, a separate fire caused major damage to a home late in the day.

One woman suffered smoke inhalation in the blaze. She received first aid on the scene before being evacuated to a local medical center. It’s not clear what caused the blaze.

Hana Levi Julian

Summer Break Fun

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Asher Schwartz

Inclement Weather No Match For Celebrate Israel Parade

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Overcast skies and sporadic showers failed to dampen the enthusiasm of tens of thousands of marchers and spectators at this year’s Celebrate Israel parade in Manhattan.

The parade, which kicked off Sunday at 11 a.m. and made its way up Fifth Avenue from 57th Street to 74th Street, drew a heavy contingent of political leaders, celebrities, and Israeli dignitaries.

Among the elected officials present were New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who that very morning ordered state agencies to divest themselves of companies and organizations aligned with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; Mayor Bill de Blasio, who declared that New Yorkers “believe in Israel and we have a deep love for the people of Israel”; Senator Charles Schumer; State Assemblyman David Weprin; State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli; City Comptroller Scott Stringer; New York City Public Advocate Letitia James; and representatives Charles Rangel and Kathleen Rice.

Israeli officials at the parade included UN ambassador Danny Danon; consul general Ido Aharoni; Beersheba mayor Ruvik Danilovich; and members of Knesset David Bitan (Likid), Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union), Yakov Margi (Shas), and Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid).

Among the celebrities showing their support of Israel were honorary grand marshal Kathie Lee Gifford (the television personality told reporters she visits Israel every year) and renowned therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who turned 88 on Saturday. Westheimer, who served as a sniper for the Haganah during Israel’s war of independence, has become a fixture at the Celebrate Israel Parade.

As always, though, the heart and soul of the parade were the marching bands, singing groups, and hundreds of day schools and organizations representing virtually all segments of the Jewish community.

Even the wet weather was seen by many as a net positive. “Let the world see that rain or shine, we come here to rally for Israel,” said a teenager marching with Brooklyn’s Yeshiva Derech HaTorah.

“Our support for Israel Doesn’t Stop for the Rain” read a sign along the parade route.

Yocheved, a 15 year old waving Israeli flags with her parents and two younger sisters, said this was her fourth Celebrate Israel Parade and it was the weather that made it special.

Naomi Klass Mauer

Firefighters Get Control Over Jerusalem-Area Forest Fires Near Beit Shemesh, Givat HaMatos

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Firefighters were once again faced with flames in the forests around Jerusalem as the temperatures soared and dry air created a tinderbox among the trees.

A team of four firefighters managed to get control of a forest fire in Horesh, in the area of Givat HaMatos, according to local officials by around 2 pm Tuesday afternoon.

There was a serious concern the blaze would reach buildings located in the area; as a result, people living in nearby caravans temporarily evacuated their homes.

Likewise, a similar firefighting team of four was deployed to the forested hills surrounding the area near the southwestern Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh.

The flames had reached an abandoned forest, but firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control, said Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson Udi Gal.

No injuries were reported from either site.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/firefighters-get-control-over-forest-fires-near-beit-shemesh-givat-hamatos/2016/06/07/

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