Natural disasters

Israeli backpacker escapes jail over Chile forest fire

By Jennifer Lipman, February 10, 2012

An Israeli backpacker has accepted a deal to pay £6,300 compensation to a Chilean environmental group after he was arrested for causing a devastating forest fire.

The money will be used to fund the purchase of 50,000 trees for the Chilean forestry agency to plant.

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Israel offer aid as tourist questioned over Chile forest fire

By Jennifer Lipman, January 3, 2012

The Israeli foreign ministry has offered condolences to Chile after part of a national park was damaged in a forest fire.

The damage to the Torres de Paine National Park, in southern Chile, has been severe and the park remained closed to visitors on Tuesday.

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Turkey accepts Israel's offer of earthquake aid

By Jennifer Lipman, October 26, 2011

Turkey has accepted Israel's offer of foreign aid in the wake of an earthquake in the east of the country.

Following the disaster, Israeli President Shimon Peres telephoned his Turkish counterpart, President Abdullah Gul and offered to send search-and-rescue teams, food, medicine, medical staff and equipment.

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Israel offers help after Turkish earthquake

By Jennifer Lipman, October 24, 2011

Israel was among the first countries to offer support to Turkey following the devastating earthquake in the east of the country.

The death toll from the disaster has reached above 200 people and there are fears it could rise significantly.

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She survived Hitler, but not the hurricane

September 1, 2011

Three Jews were among the 40 deaths in 10 American states hit by Hurricane Irene, reports said this week. Among them was a rabbi, a first aid worker and a Holocaust survivor.

On Sunday, Rabbi David Reichenberg, 50, who lived in Spring Valley, New York, was trying to save a father and his six-year-old son, Reuven Herbst, from power lines which had been downed during the storm.

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Quake victims 'spied for Mossad'

By Dan Goldberg, July 21, 2011

The Jewish community in New Zealand has reacted angrily to explosive allegations that Israeli backpackers caught in the massive earthquake earlier this year may have been involved in espionage.

The allegations were made by the Southland Times newspaper on Wednesday, drawing an irate response from Israel's ambassador to New Zealand, Shemi Tzur, who attacked them as "science fiction".

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Missouri horror tornado leaves shul intact

May 26, 2011

The Jewish community of Joplin, Missouri, is struggling to come to terms with the effects of the huge tornado which hit the town this week, killing 125 people and turning houses into rubble.

Although not one member of the 50 Jewish families that live in the town were killed, many lost their homes.

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Japanese tsunami the 'wrath of God'

By Yoav Sivan, April 7, 2011

The recent disasters in Japan amount to divine orders for the country to release two imprisoned yeshivah students, a Chasidic leader told his congregation in Jerusalem earlier this month.

Rabbi David Twersky, head of the Jerusalem branch of the Rachmastrivka Chasidic community, was referring to two Orthodox men who were jailed in Japan in 2008 for smuggling drugs.

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Thailand floods damage Koh Samui Jewish centre

By Jennifer Lipman, March 29, 2011

Days of intense rainfall have caused severe damage to a Jewish centre on Thailand's Koh Samui island.

The south of the country has been hit by unseasonably heavy downpours over the last five days, causing flooding and landslides on main roads. Thousands of tourists were left stranded after Koh Samui airport suspended flights and the ferry service to the mainland could not sail.

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Jewish aid for Japan after quake

March 17, 2011

Donations from British Jews have poured in to help deal with the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, as World Jewish Relief launched an emergency appeal, raising £10,000 on the first day of its appeal.

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