TEL AVIV (Dec. 9)
The first gale and rainstorm of the winter which has held Israel in its grip for the past three days was reported today to have claimed its first life in addition to causing heavy damage to crops, disrupting communications and washing out roads and bridges.
The settler lost and presumed drowned lived in the Ashdod area, one of the worst hit by flood waters which, pouring out of the surrounding hills, cut the Tel Aviv-Askelon highway and bridges in the area. Police units managed to establish temporary contact with the isolated area today and army engineers put up an infantry bridge at the site of a destroyed permanent structure to keep essential supplies rolling in. Last night, army half tracks managed to get a doctor into Ashdod to assist a mother give birth to her child
High winds and mountainous seas closed the port of Haifa. One vessel attempted to put out to sea for Cyprus but was forced to return shortly, after two of her crewmen were injured as a result of the pounding the ship took.
In addition to their other emergency tasks, Israeli police authorities were searching for the bodies of 14 Jordanians reported to have drowned in the swollen Jordan River and been washed down into Israel territory. So far there have been no signs of the bodies (A report from Amman said 24 were drowned when a bus in Jordan was overwhelmed by flood waters.)