Man killed in wall collapse as intense storms strike region
Intense winds, heavy downpours, hail cause injuries, power outages.
By BEN HARTMAN, SHARON UDASINUpdated: OCTOBER 26, 2015 00:17
A construction worker in his 20s was killed Sunday morning when a wall collapsed on him in Pardess Hanna amid heavy rains and wind as the season’s first major storm battered the country.Rains were particularly intense in some areas, with Ma’aleh Gilboa, for example, receiving 19 mm. in just five minutes – a volume that had not accumulated in such a short period since October 1984, according to IMS data.The violent winds and stormy conditions knocked down trees and power lines, causing electricity outages around the country. The main cities affected by outages at various points during the day included Netanya, Ashdod, Petah Tikva, Ra’anana, Hadera, Kfar Saba, Rehovot, Rishon Lezion, Tel Aviv, Beersheba and Afula, the IEC said.As of Sunday night, residents of certain areas of the Sharon region reportedly had endured as many as 12 hours without power.The ongoing storm – which has featured heavy winds, hail and intense rains – is the result of an upper air trough accompanied by a Red Sea trough in its lower levels, explained Dr. Amos Porat, head of the Climate Department at the Israel Meteorological Service. A meteorological trough is an elongated region that features low atmospheric pressure, as opposed to a ridge, which features high atmospheric pressure.The storm system resulted in what Porat described as “severe instability.”“Extremely developed cumulonimbus clouds were created in the Eastern Mediterranean and reached our area, mainly the coastal plain and the North of the country,” he said.AdvertisementAs of about 4 p.m., Porat said wind speeds had reached 50-75 kph with gusts of more than 95 kph. The Hadera Port received gusts that measured 102 kph, while those in Ma’aleh Gilboa achieved 132 kph, according to IMS dat a, provided by Porat. Tel Aviv’s beach area received maximal wind speeds of up to 80 kph, with gusts of as high as 105 kph.According to the IMS, large hailstones with diameters of 4-5 cm. hit the area of Ra’anana, Kfar Saba and Herzliya, causing damage, including shattering car windshields.While such weather events are not routine for October, Porat stressed that similar storms with high intensity winds, hail and rains have occurred during this month in 1984, 1987 and 1997, while heavy hail hit the central coastal plain in October 2002 and heavy rain fell in the east of the country, accompanied by hail in Jerusalem, in October 2004.“The unstable weather will continue throughout the week with rain and cooler temperatures,” Porat said.In Pardess Hanna, paramedics said they arrived at the scene of the courtyard of a building on Olesh Street to find a man lying underneath a pile of concrete blocks, without a pulse and not breathing. They managed to evacuate him from the scene but efforts to save his life failed and he was pronounced dead not long after.Elsewhere, a woman in her 20s was seriously injured in Hadera when a tree fell on the bus she was in.In Har Bracha in northern Samaria, a 17-year-old received light-to-moderate head injuries when strong winds collapsed a tent there, while in Karmiel, northeast of Haifa, a resident was hit by a street sign sent flying by the strong winds.Also in the North, police said that during the heavy rains a number of students on a school field trip at the Yitzpor River became separated from their group. Several students, including two who fell and were lightly injured, and a teacher were rescued by police and local search and rescue teams.Strong winds caused a number of cranes to collapse in the Tel Aviv area and the Sharon, including at a construction site near the Azrieli Mall in central Tel Aviv.No one was injured.Meanwhile, felled trees and telephone poles snarled traffic in a number of locales, including on south Tel Aviv’s Kibbutz Galuyot Street, which was partially shut down Sunday morning because of a felled tree.Magen David Adom said it fielded a very large number of calls from across the country from people hurt by flying objects or from MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2015 THE JERUSALEM POST Yishai: Deri hasn’t done anything • By GIL HOFFMAN Former Shas chairman Eli Yishai slammed his successor, Arye Deri, Sunday for considering leaving his post as economy minister to enable the passage of a controversial gas deal.Deri told Channel 2 Saturday that he was mulling temporarily leaving the post if another way to pass the deal cannot be found. There has been talk of him exchanging portfolios with a Likud minister or temporarily giving his portfolio to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Netanyahu met with Deri Friday, which led to him changing his mind after months of refusing to allow the deal’s passage. Just weeks ago, Deri told reporters that if he was forced to leave his post, his party would leave the coalition.“Deri is a wheeler-dealer who must decide whether he represents the poor, who he said were invisible poor, or the gas tycoons,” Yishai told Channel 10. “If he truly represents the invisible, he should not give up his seat.He should not give up. And if he represents the tycoons, he should just sign the deal.”Yishai said it was wrong to leave his ministry and allow another minister to sign the deal. He suggested that quitting his current post would be proof that he could not accomplish anything.“He bragged after the election that he got seven seats and I got zero,” Yishai said of the Yahad party he formed.“He said the score was 7-0.Now we see, he got seven mandates and zero accomplished.”Deri’s office responded by accusing Yishai of lying and saying it is unfortunate that he continues besmirching Deri and Shas even after he was trounced in the March 17 election.ELI YISHAI (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post) A POLLING OFFICIAL shows a ballot as he counts them at a polling office during the presidential election in Abidjan yesterday. (Luc Gnago/Reuters) BORDER POLICE look at a Palestinian terrorist after she was shot while threatening an attack near the entrance to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, which is part of the Cave of the Patriarchs Compound. (Screenshot) slips and falls. The rescue service advised the public to make sure to tie down objects on porches or balconies that could take flight in the wind and to be careful when opening and closing windows.As far as the power outages were concerned, IEC CEO Ofer Bloch declared a state of alert midday and opened a situation room to handle the damages. The company reminded customers to stay updated via the firm’s website, Facebook page, smartphone application and *103 call center.On Sunday evening, an IEC spokeswoman said management had turned to the Labor Court after discovering that, pursuant to instructions from the IEC Workers’ Union, its employees were not working according to proper emergency procedures.IEC management argued that a failure to work comes at the expense of tens of thousands of customers.In response, the court ordered employees to follow emergency procedures and work as scheduled, and slating a further hearing on the matter for midnight, a spokeswoman said.Despite the poor weather conditions, the Israel Airports Authority said flight schedules at Ben-Gurion Airport were not impacted, but Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv was temporarily closed in the morning for departures and landings. The IAA suggested that passengers be in touch with their respective flight companies for updates.Stormy conditions were expected to persist for the next several days.For Monday, the IMS predicted scattered showers accompanied by isolated thunderstorms in most regions around the country, with an additional drop in temperatures and a risk of flash floods in the eastern and southern wadis.The IMS maintained similar forecasts for Tuesday and Wednesday – occasional showers with isolated thunderstorms from the North to the northern Negev, with risks of flash floods in the eastern and southern wadis.By Thursday, although occasional showers, thunderstorms and flash floods might occur in the same regions, the IMS said rains should taper off during the day, accompanied by a slight rise in temperatures.