Natural disasters

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.


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.


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.


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.


Israel re-thinks earthquake preparation

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 17, 2011

The earthquake in Japan last week and its devastating results have once again renewed the debate regarding the preparedness in Israel for a major quake - that geologists claim is only a matter of time.

Big quakes tend to hit Israel every 80-100 years. The last significant quake was in 1927, so the next one could be imminent.


Israel offers help for Japan earthquake rescue

By Jennifer Lipman, March 11, 2011

Israel’s Foreign Ministry is working to account for any citizens who may have been affected by the earthquake that hit Japan last night.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has also asked Israel’s ambassador to Tokyo to offer aid to Japan in the wake of the disaster.

Emergency relief organisation ZAKA said they had dispatched a team to Japan to help with search and rescue efforts.


Three Israelis among rising New Zealand quake death toll

By Jennifer Lipman, March 1, 2011

Two more Israelis have been confirmed dead a week after the New Zealand city of Christchurch was struck by a devastating earthquake.

The death toll from the quake, which measured 6.3 on the Richter scale, has climbed to more than 150 with the discovery of the bodies of two tourists from the Israeli town of Rehovot.


Israeli tourist among dead in Christchurch earthquake

By Jennifer Lipman, February 22, 2011

An Israeli backpacker is understood to be among the estimated 65 people killed by the earthquake that struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch last night.

The man, who was travelling with three friends, was in a car when the 6.3 magnitude quake struck and caused a building to collapse on top of it.

An official from Israel’s Foreign Ministry said there could be as many as 150 Israelis in the area, which is a popular spot for tourists.


Christchurch earthquake hits Jewish centre

By Jennifer Lipman, February 22, 2011

A Jewish centre was among the buildings damaged by a devastating earthquake in New Zealand.

There are also concerns that an Israeli tourist was among the estimated 65 people killed when the 6.3 magnitude tremor hit New Zealand’s second city.

The earthquake also hit Christchurch’s Chabad headquarters, leaving those inside just minutes to escape outside as the building collapsed.

Christchurch, which is home to a small Jewish community and one synagogue, is a popular spot for Israeli backpackers, who take advantage of the Chabad facilities in the city.


Greece and Israel to launch disaster response plan

By Jennifer Lipman, January 14, 2011

Israel and Greece have agreed to coordinate their responses to regional natural disasters, such as the Carmel forest fire.

As Israeli firefighters struggled to put out the devastating blaze last December, Greece was one of a number of countries to respond to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plea for international assistance.