Two-day Storm Plays Havoc with Immigrant Villages in Israel
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Two-day Storm Plays Havoc with Immigrant Villages in Israel

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Several thousand immigrant families living in tents and other temporary dwellings in immigrant work villages have been rendered homeless in a two-day storm which has swept Israel, accompanied by a 50-mile-an-hour gale. The storm, which has already wrecked one vessel in the port of Haife and has wrought great damage on citrus crops in the coastal area, was continuing tonight.

In northern Israel, some 300 families were evacuated after their tents and huts were torn down by the gale. At an immigrant village near Hadera police and military units were called in to rescue women and children when the temporary units in which they lived were swept away in floods. It was estimated that the heaviest damage was caused in one maabara located on the hills outside Jerusalem. There, the huts were toppled by the furious winds and again the police and troops rushed the immigrants to shelter.

Near Tel Aviv, an estimated 1,000 families were evacuated from two work villages which were flooded out by the torrential rains, Hundreds of immigrants gathered outside the Jewish Agency headquarters in Tel Aviv to demand that women and children be evacuated to secure towns and cities from immigrant projects.

The Agency today sent a convoy of jeeps to villages in the Jerusalem corridor with food, clothing and other essential supplies. Special details, accompanied by engineers, construction workers and technicians, have been hurried to threatened areas to transfer women and children from villages. An Agency spokesman today declared that the situation was in hand.

Haifa port authorities continued a search of Haifa Bay today for the bodies of five seamen lost when a Turkish freighter sank after losing its anchor in the storm and collided with the wreckage of the Patria. Twenty-three of the crew were saved. The 4,500-ton freighter was under charter to the Shoham company. It had completed unloading before the accident. Three of the missing seamen are known to be Jews.

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