SYDNEY, Australia – Mass flash flooding triggered by Cyclone Yasi caused severe damage to Jewish community buildings in Melbourne.
Wild floods stormed through several suburbs heavily populated by Melbourne’s 50,000-strong Jewish community on the evening of February 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.
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 Meteorology.