australia cyclone 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
SYDNEY, Australia – Mass flash flooding triggered by Cyclone Yasi caused severe damage to Jewish community buildings in Melbourne.
RELATED:More floods in Australia as cyclone damage tallied
Wild floods stormed through several suburbs heavily populated by Melbourne’s 50,000-strong Jewish community on the evening of Feb. 4, prompting the closure of the Sephardi Synagogue on Shabbat.
At least two Jewish schools were also flooded, with Bialik College – one of the largest Jewish schools in the country – reportedly closing for two days this week due to damage. The offices of the Australian Jewish News
were also partially flooded, according to Yossi Aron, the newspaper’s religious affairs editor.
“The streets were like rivers,” Aron told JTA. He said one house in a
low-lying area of his street was completely flooded. “The water was
Driving rain and wind gusts of up to 80 miles per
hour battered Victoria, ripping roofs from buildings, felling trees and
closing roads, schools and other premises. Some suburbs received more
than 5.9 inches of rain in 24 hours, according to the Bureau of
The flash flooding was caused by the tail end of
Cyclone Yasi, a category five storm that ripped through Queensland on
Feb. 3, just weeks after rampant floods deluged the state, claiming at
least 35 lives.