• Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

It has not rained so much in 50 years

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It has so far been a rainy winter season in Israel. Large amounts of precipitation have led to severe flooding in several places. On Thursday, heavy rain continued, leading to new floods, writes the Jerusalem Post.

According to the Israel Meteorological Institute, it has not rained so much in northern Israel for over 50 years. In southern Israel, it has not rained that much for 76 years. Over the course of two weeks, about 400 millimeters of precipitation has fallen in several places. In Upper Galilee in northern Israel, 450 millimeters of rain has fallen.

The fact that so much rain has fallen over a period of two weeks is very unusual in Israel. Since the official measurements started 80 years ago, only so much precipitation has been measured twice before – the winter of 1951 and 1969.

Both in northern and southern Israel, large amounts of precipitation create traffic challenges. (Photo: Israeli police)

On Wednesday, a man in his 30s died while trying to save a woman and a child from a car stuck in the water. A few days earlier, a woman and a man were killed after being caught in a flooded elevator. A total of seven people have died as a result of the heavy rain.

The heavy rainfall has also meant that schools and kindergartens across the country have been temporarily closed. Several parks and nature reserves are also closed due to the danger that the rain will turn small streams into large rivers.

In cities such as Haifa, Tel Aviv, Ashdod and Ashkelon, floods have led to major traffic problems. The railway in Israel is closed in several places. The military is also deployed to assist in the rescue and evacuation.

Although heavy rainfall presents major challenges, it also provides a long-awaited replenishment of Israel’s freshwater sources, such as Lake Gennesaret. The water level rose 23 centimeters in just 24 hours. Since the rainy season began, the water in the lake has risen over 90 centimeters. Nevertheless, there are still over two meters left to full capacity. But the rainy season is not over yet.

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