Posts Tagged ‘weather’
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 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
By Jonathan Benedek/TPS
Jerusalem (TPS) – After a series of floods and landslides killed over 100 people in Sri Lanka nearly two weeks ago, Israel is supplying approximately US$20,000 in aid to the island nation’s Disaster Relief Management Ministry, Israel’s Foreign Ministry reported before the weekend.
“As a friend and partner of Sri Lanka, Israel was honored to provide emergency assistance following the recent floods,” said Israel’s ambassador to Sri Lanka Daniel Carmon.
The recent floods and landslides on the Asian island located off of India’s southern coast were caused by massive rainstorms on May 14 and have claimed at least 100 deaths.
The disaster relief supplies provided by Israel are primarily geared towards repairing and improving the water and sewage systems in Sri Lanka that have been decimated by the flooding and landslides. Included among the supplies are water pumps, water filters, solar lighting kits, LED torches and 50,000 tablets for water purification.
Israel is also planning to send a number of its water experts to Sri Lanka in order to help provide the country with long-term improvements in its water sector.
“We have every intention that this emergency aid would ease the recovery of the areas affected by the floods and that it will transform into a strong and meaningful cooperation in the field of water,” Carmon stressed.
“Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sri Lanka and especially the families of the victims and all of those who were affected by the floods, as the loss of lives and the damages are truly heart breaking.”TPS / Tazpit News Agency
The extreme heat wave, or “sharav” that began on Saturday in Israel has brought with it warnings to Israelis not to forget to keep drinking water.
Those with medical conditions, the elderly, young, and pregnant are urged to remain indoors with fans or air conditioning as much as possible.
Temperatures spiked on Sunday, reaching into the 40s celsius (100s fahrenheit) in desert and beach areas such as Eilat, where it reached as high as 45 / 113 degrees.
At least 440 people so far have been treated between Saturday and Monday mornings for heat exhaustion, dehydration, fainting and other results of the heat wave. The Magen David Adom emergency medical response service said it has been called to treat hundreds of people. More than 30 were dehydrated, and nearly 200 had fainted.
Three suffered from heat stroke. Among those were an eight-year-old girl who was hiking near Nachal Tavor in the Lower Galilee, and a 40-year-old man, found semi-conscious on Sunday on the roof of a building in Lod. Both were hospitalized in serious condition.
The extreme heat is expected to continue at least into Tuesday.Hana Levi Julian
Jewish groups are stepping forward to help more than 100,000 residents of the Fort McMurray area in Alberta, Canada, who were forced to flee their homes in the face of a wildfire that continues to burn unabated.
The Global Leaks news site managed to upload some of the nightmare faced by residents on to YouTube.
The fire was first detected about a week ago, and so far has blazed through an area about 621 square miles wide, about the size of Mexico City. It is now about 18 miles from Saskatchewan, a less populated area, and residents there have been warned to close their windows and doors due to the smoke.
The Calgary Jewish Federation has said it will donate $25,000 from its emergency relief fund to help those who were forced to abandon their homes to the fire.
Other Jewish groups in Ontario and Edmonton are also gathering funds to help the now-homeless refugees living in camps in the oil sands and elsewhere.
Israel’s IsraAid humanitarian aid group has a volunteer on site, and is preparing to send a team to Canada as well, according to the organization.
More than 500 firefighters are battling the blaze with air tankers, helicopters and other heavy equipment.
It could be “months” before it is brought under full control, officials said. The fire is expected to be the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history, with insurance costs alone already running into billions of dollars, according to the BBC.
Some 1,600 homes and other buildings have been lost to the fire so far. The power grid in Fort McMurray is damaged and the water now is undrinkable. Entire neighborhoods are destroyed.
At least 25 percent of Canada’s oil production has been stopped by the fire; the effect on the country’s economy has not yet been calculated.Hana Levi Julian
A veritable downpour of blessings rained down from the skies over Israel on Monday, flooding roads, parking lots and various tourist sites.
In the north, the Mount Hermon ski resort was closed to visitors due to the poor weather conditions.
Moving further south, The north-south Highway 90 was shut down in both directions near the Ein Gedi nature reserve, north of the Arugot River, due to flooding.
Around the same area, the Tamar Regional Council district canceled school sessions due to road conditions. Kibbutz Ein Gedi is located within the Tamar region, as is Masada and the Dead Sea hotel strip at Ein Bokek.
Further west, the sparkling new Be’er Sheva “Grand Canyon” Mall also caved to the weather: a section of the roof collapsed under the weight of the downpour.
All the way to the south, less than a mile from the Gaza border, the city of Sderot found some of its cars nearly swimming in the rainwater. Streets were flooded nearly halfway up the hubcaps of some of the cars.
In other towns around the country, some of the parking lots were flooded nearly to the car trunks.
Throughout the Negev, the average amount of rainfall was approximately three centimeters (1.2 inches). Tel Aviv was close – 2.7 centimeters (a bit over an inch), Haifa had nearly 2 centimeters (almost an inch) and Jerusalem saw four centimeters (about an inch and a half.) In the Golan Heights, about 45 centimeters of rain was measured in some areas (nearly 2 inches).
What all this means is that the water level in Israel’s biggest drinking water reservoir – Lake Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee – has risen by another 1.5 centimeters due to the rain. The level is now -212.65 meters below sea level, which is 3.85 meters below the top red line, at which point the lake would be filled to capacity.
The rain is forecast to continue throughout Monday.Hana Levi Julian