Though rain is considered a blessing and it is much needed during the winter months here in Israel, the country is often not equipped to handle the heavy storms that sweep through.
Last week four people were killed in floods, including two people who were trapped in a subterranean elevator in a Tel Aviv parking garage, after heavy rains pounded the center of Israel. My daughter was actually friends with the young couple. It devastated the city emotionally. And, it could have and should have been avoided! Residents are outrages at the failfure of emergency services.
“I called the police at 12:26, but no one answered. I tried calling the police again, but they didn’t answer again,” said the tenant. “I called the fire brigade twice at 12:33, but they also didn’t answer. They did answer me once, but I was referred to the municipal emergency service (106), instead. The municipal emergency service just hung up on me and did not answer.”
“One of the firemen answered me and told me to turn to 106. I told him the street was flooded and was turning into a life-threatening hazard. He referred me to 106 to come and pump out the water. I didn’t get any response from 106. I called the police, at this point I already figured there were people trapped in the elevator and I got an answer only on the third try.” https://www.ynetnews.com/article/BknZjQylI
Emergency services have been overwhelmed with the litany of problems arising from floods and backed up drainage pipes.
Responders are preparing once again to deal with emergencies this week. Large amounts of rainfall are expected, along with heavy winds that are expected to last several days. Sandbags have even been distributed in some cities.
Many people lost electricity during last week’s storm and power company officials are already warning that there is zero chance the power grid will be unscathed in the upcoming weather conditions as well.
So while we should continue to pray for rain showers to bless the ground, we should also pray for Israelis’ safety as well.