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Nine Dead, over 100 Injured During Fierce Storms in Israel

March 25, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Fierce wind and rainstorms sweeping Israel over the weekend took at least nine lives and caused injuries to nearly 100 people.

Most of the casualties were the result of road accidents and drowning. Damage to electricity and telephone lines and highways was estimated at millions of dollars.

The storm struck Friday after a week of mild, summerlike weather.

Six died in highway accidents Saturday and more than 90 were injured, 20 seriously, as vehicles skidded on rain-slick pavements.

A bus skidded out of control on the mountainous Acre-Safed road, injuring 51. It turned end-over-end twice before coming to rest on a hillside.

The first fatalities were three Bedouins in the Negev, who drowned Friday when flash floods suddenly filled what had been stone-dry riverbeds and gullies only seconds before.

Hundreds of soldiers, police and civilian volunteers spent hours searching wide areas, of the northern Negev for the victims, aided by helicopters, jeeps and tracked vehicles.

The bodies of twin brothers were found at noon Sunday. But a 14-year-old Bedouin girl from a village near Beersheba was still missing Sunday evening.

The downpour dropped 2 inches of rain in the Tel Aviv area and nearly 5 inches in northern Israel in a 24-hour period. But it did little to relieve the drought conditions caused by three successive winters of abnormally light rain.

The level of Lake Kinneret rose 2.8 inches during the storm, adding millions of cubic meters of water to Israel’s largest natural reservoir.

But the fresh-watcher lake is still about 7 feet below its normal level for this time of year. Experts say water rationing is inevitable.

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