Major Wildfire in Israel

Major Wildfire in Israel

03 Dezember 2010



These 250m resolution satellite images by the MODIS instrument show the smoke plume rising from Mt. Karmel, Israel
 during the mid-day hours of Friday, 3 December 2010, extending to the Mediterranean Sea South of Cyprus.
Satellite image source: NASA Terra satellite, selected by GFMC


This 1-km resolution satellite image by the MODIS instrument shows active fires
 and the smoke plume rising from Mt. Karmel on 3 December 2010.
Satellite image source: NASA Terra satellite, processed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), selected by GFMC

 


Fire situation map on 3 December 2010, 17:15 local time.
Source: Jerusalem Post (http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=197861)

Latest Updates (morning of 3 December 2010):

40 dead, thousands flee raging Israeli bushfire

An estimated 13,000 people were forced to flee their homes in northern Israel Thursday and early Friday, as the worst bushfire in Israel’s history raged unchecked for 14 hours, killing 40 people and devouring everything in its path.

The fire broke out shortly before noon on Thursday on the Carmel hill, southeast of the port city of Haifa, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as “a catastrophe, the likes of which we have not yet known”.

He appealed to Russia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and other countries for help in putting out the fire and by early Friday morning, some 24 firefighting aircraft, as well as other equipment, from countries including Greece, Cyprus, France and Egypt, were mobilising for Israel or were already on their way.

The aircraft were set to go into action at first light, around 0400 GMT.

The fire swept unchecked for hours, and after about 14 hours exhausted firefighters, those from Haifa reinforced by teams from across Israel, and by soldiers, were still struggling without success to bring it under control.

Army bulldozers were clearing paths through the Carmel forest to provide access for fire trucks.

“We’ve lost control of the fire,” a spokesman for Haifa’s firefighting services was quoted as saying early Thursday evening.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich said it was impossible to say when the fire could be contained.

At least 40 people were confirmed dead, their charred bodies identified as the evening wore on.

They had been prison guards who had been drafted to help evacuate 500 prisoners from a jail in the path of the flames. Reports said their bus either was trapped by a falling tree, or the driver lost control of the vehicle, and they burned to death.

The fire had been far from the road when the bus first set off, but spread about 1,500 metres in less three minutes.

In addition to the prison, residents of the villages in the vicinity of the fire were ordered to leave their homes. One village, Beit Oren, the first to be evacuated, was almost totally destroyed by the fire, reports from the scene said.

At around 1 a.m. Friday (2300 GMT Thursday) Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav gave the order to evacuate some streets of a suburb on the city’s outlying districts, close to the area of the blaze.

He said there was no immediate danger of the fire reaching the suburb, but added that “we’re not taking any chances”.

Netanyahu had said earlier in the evening that more evacuations would be ordered as necessary.

Hospitals in the region were placed on major alert.

Hopes that a major road linking Haifa with Tel Aviv in the south would act as a fire-break appeared to be unfounded.

It was unclear whether the fire was the result of an accident or whether it had been started deliberately as an act of arson.

Easterly winds, and the dry ground caused by a severe drought, helped the fire spread quickly and engulf dozens kilometres of forest, cutting off power to much of the area and sending up huge columns of smoke, which were visible on the coast, on the other side of the hill.

Huge flames sent sparks upward into the evening sky, causing one witness to remark that the Carmel hill looked like “a volcano”.

Another local resident said that while at first all she could see from her location by the sea was smoke, it later appeared as if the “entire Carmel hill was burning.”

Source: sify.com
 

 

Australia offers help over Israel fires

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has offered the help of Australian emergency services in tackling bushfires raging out of control in Israel.

At least 40 people have died after a fire tore through a forest near Haifa on Thursday.

Mr Rudd said in a statement Australia knew about the devastation of bushfires.

“I understand several of Israel’s neighbours are sending assistance to help tackle the fires, including aircraft,” Mr Rudd said.

“At this point, given the urgency, we understand that Israel is seeking assistance from countries in its region.

“Australia stands ready to offer assistance to Israel.”

Mr Rudd said the Australian embassy in Tel Aviv had been in touch with Israel authorities and at this stage there was no indication of any Australian injured or killed as a result of the fire.

Mr Rudd, who is currently in Bahrain, will travel to Israel later this month for an official visit.

Source: news.ninemsn.com.au

 

Turkey Offers To Help Israel Control Wildfire

In an effort to help Israel control its continuing blaze, which has spread through northern parts of the country, Turkey has offered to put aside its differences and sent firefighting aircraft.

European nations such as Greece, Spain and Cyprus have also offered their help. The Turkish help came a day after fires raged in the Carmel mountains, killing 40 prison wardens, who were travelling in a bus, while on their way to the Damon Prison.

The local authorities had sent the wardens to evacuate nearly 500 prisoners from the facility. The facility is located near Kibbutz Beit Oren.

The bus in which they were travelling came in way of the fast moving flames, which has now spread to narrow mountain road that links Atlit and Kibbutz Bet Oren.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman sought assistance from Europe, Jordan and the United States to help them overcome blaze.

Source: www.allheadlinenews.com
 

Deadly Israeli wildfire draws U.S., Los Angeles support

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) and its partner, the Friends of Israel Firefighters (FIF), are leading efforts to raise funds to supply Israel’s beleaguered and aging firefighting force with the equipment it needs to battle the out-of-control brushfire consuming Israel’s Carmel Mountains near Haifa.

The fire had taken the lives of at least 40 prison guard students, and consumed 2,500 acres as of Thursday night in Israel. It could be days or weeks before the fire is contained, experts say. Nearly all of Israel’s 1,550 firefighters have been called up to fight the fire, leaving cities vulnerable during Chanukah, when incidents of house fires usually rise.

JNF has set up a special fund to raise emergency cash to help Israel fight this fire.

Mark Egerman, former mayor of Beverly Hills and Western regional director of FIF, says money raised now can go to immediately purchase protective suits for firefighters and other equipment that can help them in the next few days.

“This is not a question of raising money to get trucks to them in the next six months,” Egerman said. “This is about getting protective gear to them in the next couple days or in a week or two weeks.”

Los Angeles County officials are determining whether its local repositories of fire suppressant can be sent to Israel to help fight the fire, according to County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

On Thursday afternoon Yaroslavsky spoke on conference call with Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, Israeli Consul General in Los Angeles Yaakov Dayan, Congressman Howard Berman and the Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman to assess what Israel’s needs are and how Los Angeles will be able to help.

Firefighting services can only be dispatched to foreign countries by the State Department.

While Californian can’t get firefighting aircraft to Israel quickly enough to help, and countries like Cypress, Greece and Russia are sending Israel firefighting helicopters and planes, there are other needs, such as for fire retardants, which are quickly running out, Oren and Dayan told the Americans.

As of Thursday afternoon, city and county officials were checking their supplies, and the U.S. Forest Service was also being contacted to see what supplies could be made available from across the country.

Yaroslavsky said he has a sister who lives in the fire region, whom he visited there in October. She told him Thursday that she could see the glow of the fire a few ridges away from the mountain on which she lives.

Yaroslavsky said he has been following the fire on Israel’s Channel One and Voice of Israel, and said conditions in Carmel are quite similar to California – heavily vegetated and dry mountains, leading to the sea. In addition, the erratic winds now afflicting the fire area are warm easterly winds off the Syrian desert, similar to Southern California’s Santa Anas.

But while this year California’s fire season has been tempered by rains throughout the early fall, Israel has yet to see a real rainfall this year. And Israel, which doesn’t have forest fires as often as the U.S. West Coast, isn’t nearly as well equipped as California, which now owns aircraft that can drop water even at night.

“The Israelis do a lot of things well, because they unfortunately have a lot of practice. But this is not one of them,” Yaroslavsky said. “They do as well as they can given the equipment they have, but it’s not California or Oregon or Washington or British Columbia, where we live with this every year nine months out of the year, and we’re trained and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment,” Yaroslavsky said.

And even with that equipment, he added, things can go terribly wrong.

“Even then we have disasters on our hands, like the Station Fire last year.”

JNF has scheduled a national conference call open to the public for 9 a.m. Pacific time Dec. 3, where representatives from Israel’s firefighting service and the Israeli and American leadership of JNF will brief callers on the situation on the ground and what supporters can do to help (call in to (800) 862-9098, conference ID 4477235).

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has also called L.A. Consul General Dayan to offer support. The consulate said it welcomes all help from friends and is working to assess what form that help might take.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is also currently gathering information and raising funds to send directly to Israel. http://www.jewishla.org/israelwildfires

The American Associates of the Haifa Foundation, which raises funds to support municipal needs in Haifa, is raising funds to purchase a firetruck for immediate use, which costs around $300,000. It is also raising funds for the future rehabilitation of the forest and to aid evacuees.

Meanwhile, JNF, which has historically worked to revitalize Israel’s forests, and the FIF are well positioned to get immediate help where it is needed.

In addition to protective suits and gear, which cost about $2,000 each, FIF hopes to be able to purchase infrared equipment to help firefighters locate people in very thick smoke, hoses and nozzles, air tanks, and forcible entry tools.

Israel’s forests are generally urban forests, with villages and adjacent to large urban centers. More than 10,000 people have already been evacuated from the fire zone.

FIF was founded about 10 years ago to raise funds for municipalities in Israel, which run the local firehouses. Because cities are often cash-strapped, firefighting equipment was quickly aging, Egerman said.

In the last several years, FIF has purchased about 90 mini-pumper firefighting trucks at more than $100,000 each, according to Egerman. Those trucks were used extensively during Israel’s war with Hezbollah in 2006, to extinguish fires set of by rockets fired into northern Israel.

Egerman got involved with FIF soon after he retired from the Beverly Hills City Council, where he served from 1997 to 2005. Prior to that he was on Beverly Hills board of education and served as board president in 1987.

FIF became part of JNF several years ago, when JNF reached out to offer the support of its national infrastructures as FIF worked to raise funds for Israel’s firefighters.

Before the fire broke out, JNF in Los Angeles had already scheduled its annual breakfast for Dec. 14 with keynote speaker Amir Levy, fire chief of the Western Galilee—the area now affected. The breakfast will raise funds for Israel’s firefighters.

Source: www.jewishjournal.com

 

Israel asks Russia for help with wildfires

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Russia to send planes to help in combating a powerful wildfire which hit the region of Haifa and killed at least 40 people.

The disaster made the government evacuate local students, hotel guests and staff, and Palestinian prisoners of the Haifa jail. During the evacuation, a bus with the prisoners overturned and caught fire.

Source:english.ruvr.ru

 

Greece said it would send fire fighting planes to help Israel forest fires

Greece said it would send four Canadair fire fighting planes to help Israel bring a deadly forest fire under control near Haifa, the foreign ministry announced on Thursday.

The planes were to take off from a military airport near Athens and were due to reach Haifa at dawn on Friday, after refuelling in Rhodes, Greece’s firefighting services said.

The foreign ministry said the backup was ordered by Prime Minister Georges Papandreou after a telephone request from his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.

Earlier reports said that a bus had burst into flames as it raced to an Israeli prison during a massive forest fire, killing dozens of prison guards participating in the rescue mission, officials said. It was one of the deadliest accidents in the nation’s history.

Fire officials said the blaze, which said about 650ha ablaze, remained out of control after nightfall.

A university, three prisons and a hospital were evacuated and at least one village was destroyed.

After nightfall, bodies of 25 victims from the bus had been identified, police said.

Fire officials said about 40 people were killed. About two dozen people were still missing, Israel Radio reported.

“This is a disaster of unprecedented proportions,” Netanyahu said.

He said the government was using all means at its disposal to contain the blaze, and he appealed to Cyprus, Italy, Russia and Greece to provide backup.

His office said Greece and Cyprus agreed to send firefighting helicopters.

Source: www.news24.com

 

Analysis: A tragedy that was waiting to happen

In May, the Fire and Rescue Service held a drill to simulate some of the worst scenarios drawn up by Home Front Command planners. But officials told The Jerusalem Post at the time that the exercise was largely meaningless, because the organization was underfunded, understaffed and lacking the equipment needed to tackle the kind of massive disaster scenario that materialized Thursday.

The disaster now raging across the North may well serve as a tragic wake-up call to the government and spur efforts to bring the Fire and Rescue Service into the 21st century.Too late. Tragically, too late.

As the flames engulfed Mount Carmel, the brave men of the Fire and Rescue Service continued to do battle with the fires, risking their lives in the process.

But despite their gallant efforts, the firefighters know that their organization has been systematically neglected by the government for decades.

In May, the Fire Service held a drill to simulate some of the worst scenarios drawn up by Home Front Command planners, but officials then told The Jerusalem Post that the exercise was largely meaningless because the organization is underfunded, understaffed, and lacking in equipment needed to tackle the kind of large-scale disaster scenario which materialized on Thursday.

Only 1,400 firefighters currently serve in the organization, which remains decentralized and is partially dependent on the funding of regional councils, Fire and Rescue Commissioner Shimon Romach told the Post in May.

“The lack of funding has reached unbearable levels. What we have now is insufficient for peacetime. Our standards are irrelevant today, and they were barely relevant 20 years ago. In 1998, a government committee said 2,400 active firefighters were needed for adequate responses to fires during peacetime.

Twelve years later, we have half of that number.

“Our vehicles are in a similar situation. And we have no reserve members to fall back on,” he continued.

Unlike the Israel Police and the IDF, the Fire Service is a decentralized organization lacking a national command center and single state funding source, Romach explained.

Local councils and municipalities manage regional fire stations and have final say ontheir budgets, which are provided jointly by local authorities and the Finance Ministry.

The firefighters are often located low down on the priority ladder of local and national authorities, especially in cash-starved peripheral councils, Romach added.

“The government sees us as a step-son. Our budget has been neglected for years,” said Yoram Levi, the Fire Service spokesman.

Romach said isolated incidents could be dealt with using creative techniques to bypass the shortage of manpower, such as moving fire crews from one regional council to another to tackle a serious blaze, as happened on Thursday.

But in a fire as large as the one that broke out on Thursday, such techniques were grossly insufficient to deal with the crisis, while also leaving other regional councils, towns, and cities exposed should serious fires break out elsewhere.

Representatives of firefighters and the government have been holding intensive talks in an effort to solve the crisis.

The Finance Ministry has demanded structural changes as a condition for increased funding.

In 2008, the government decided to create a national firefighting authority, but that goal was far from being reached, Romach said in May.

“The authority has yet to be launched, and it will be a very problematic birth. But we are trying to get there,” he said.

Also on Thursday, Ma’ariv cited sources in the Interior Ministry as slamming the Finance Ministry for transferring only NIS 100 million of NIS 500 million requested for the Fire Service this year.

Sources in the Finance Ministry responded by saying that all funds requested by the government for the Fire Service had been transferred, noting that in June the government had decided on a NIS 100 million cash injection which would be funded jointly by the Finance Ministry, Interior Ministry and local authorities.

An additional NIS 7 million had been transferred to boost the Fire Service’s aerial capabilities, the sources said.

Thursday’s disaster may well serve as a tragic wake-up call to the government and spur efforts to bring the fire service into the 21st century.

Too late. Tragically, too late.

Source: www.jpost.com

 

40 dead, thousands flee raging Israeli bushfire

An estimated 13,000 people were forced to flee their homes in northern Israel Thursday and early Friday, as the worst bushfire in Israel’s history raged unchecked for 14 hours, killing 40 people and devouring everything in its path. The fire broke out shortly before noon Thursday on the Carmel hill, southeast of the port city of Haifa, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as “a catastrophe, the likes of which we have not yet known”.

He appealed to Russia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and other countries for help in putting out the fire and by early Friday morning, some 24 firefighting aircraft, as well as other equipment, from countries including Greece, Cyprus, France and Egypt, were mobilising for Israel or were already on their way.

The aircraft were set to go into action at first light, around 0400 GMT.

The fire swept unchecked for hours, and after about 14 hours exhausted firefighters, those from Haifa reinforced by teams from across Israel, and by soldiers, were still struggling without success to bring it under control.

Army bulldozers were clearing paths through the Carmel forest to provide access for fire trucks.

“We’ve lost control of the fire,” a spokesman for Haifa’s firefighting services was quoted as saying early Thursday evening.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich said it was impossible to say when the fire could be contained.

At least 40 people were confirmed dead, their charred bodies identified as the evening wore on.

They had been prison guards who had been drafted to help evacuate 500 prisoners from a jail in the path of the flames. Reports said their bus either was trapped by a falling tree, or the driver lost control of the vehicle, and they burned to death.

The fire had been far from the road when the bus first set off, but spread about 1,500 metres in less three minutes.

In addition to the prison, residents of the villages in the vicinity of the fire were ordered to leave their homes. One village, Beit Oren, the first to be evacuated, was almost totally destroyed by the fire, reports from the scene said.

At around 1 a.m. Friday (2300 GMT Thursday) Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav gave the order to evacuate some streets of a suburb on the city’s outlying districts, close to the area of the blaze.

He said there was no immediate danger of the fire reaching the suburb, but added that “we’re not taking any chances”.

Netanyahu had said earlier in the evening that more evacuations would be ordered as necessary.

Hospitals in the region were placed on major alert.

Hopes that a major road linking Haifa with Tel Aviv in the south would act as a fire-break appeared to be unfounded.

It was unclear whether the fire was the result of an accident or whether it had been started deliberately as an act of arson.

Easterly winds, and the dry ground caused by a severe drought, helped the fire spread quickly and engulf dozens kilometres of forest, cutting off power to much of the area and sending up huge columns of smoke, which were visible on the coast, on the other side of the hill.

Huge flames sent sparks upward into the evening sky, causing one witness to remark that the Carmel hill looked like “a volcano”.

Another local resident said that while at first all she could see from her location by the sea was smoke, it later appeared as if the “entire Carmel hill was burning.”

Source: www.hindustantimes.com

 

Netanyahu: Israel can’t fight massive brushfire alone

In an emergency cabinet meeting assembled in Tel Aviv on Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the nations sending forces to aid Israel in a large-scale brushfire, which had already cost the lives of 41 people.

In his short address, delivered minutes before he was due to travel to the sight of the Carmel fire, Netanyahu thanked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for sending fire-fighting aircraft to aid Israel in it’s battle against the conflagration.

Turkey’s sending of two fire-fighting planes comes as its relations with Israel have deteriorated in recent years and reached a low point last May when nine Turkish citizens were killed as Israeli naval commandos boarded a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

The PM also thanked Greece for sending four fire-fighting aircraft, adding that Israel was not equipped to deal with the type and magnitude of blaze, which has been ravaging the area around Haifa for 24 hours.

Other countries sending aid to arrive at Israel later Friday support included Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, France, U.K., Croatia, Russia, Spain, and Romania. Overall, more than 20 fire-fighting planes are expected to arrive in Israel, with New York’s fire department also agreeing to send a firefighting airplane to Israel.

Forty-one people died, and 15,000 residents, including 600 prison inmates, were evacuated as the blaze raged out of control, devastating hundreds of acres of pine forest before sweeping down the slopes of the Carmel plateau towards Israel’s third largest city.

Early Friday morning the blaze spread into Tirat Carmel on the eastern slops of the Carmel Ridge. Residents were evacuated from their homes, and were asked to refrain from returning to the area without explicit police authorization.

New outbursts of fire were located near Isfiya, the Carmel prison and around the Nir Etzion, a communal settlement situated south of Haifa.

Earlier, 4,000 residents of the affluent Haifa district of Denya were evacuated from their homes late Thursday night. Later, it seemed that the fire had subsided in the Denya area, and that the neighborhood had weathered the storm, with security forces issuing a reevaluation of that situation as the fire again spread toward the Haifa neighborhood.

A number of neighboring countries dispatched firefighting aircraft to

help tackle the blaze, the first of which were expected to reach Israel at around 7:00 A.M.

Earlier, 40 were killed when a bus carrying prison service trainees to assist in the evacuation was engulfed by fire after a falling tree blocked its path.

Two firefighters and a policeman were also among the dead. Elsewhere, at least two more fire crew were reported missing, while the Haifa district police chief was among the injured.

Across the region, traffic crawled to a standstill, with black smoke and flames visible for miles around.

The blaze broke out shortly before lunchtime and spread rapidly across the tinder-dry Carmel countryside, left parched after the hottest November in Israel in 60 years.

At around 4:00 A.M., local time, firefighters warned of the possibility the blaze would reach Highway 4, a major traffic artery linking the north with Tel Aviv, with those predictions proving true later in the morning.

At around 10:30 A.M. on Friday morning the fire had swept its way to the farther coastal Highway 2, forcing police to close one of Israel’s busiest roads between Zichron Yaakov and Haifa. The Road was reopened 30 minutes later.

 

Switzerland assists Israel put out forest fires

Switzerland will send three Air Force Cougar helicopters to Israel to help fight the devastating forest fires in the north of the country. In the last few hours, 41 people have died in the worst outbreak of bush and forest fires in the country’s history; more than 17,000 more have had to be evacuated from their homes.

At its meeting on 3 December, the Federal Council decided to support Israel with fighting the fires in the area surrounding the city of Haifa in the north of the country. The Israeli government has appealed for international support because its own fire-fighting capacities are inadequate to extinguish the worst such fires in the country’s history.

In cooperation with the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport, the Humanitarian Aid of the Swiss Confederation, within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), will send three Armed Forces helicopters and the necessary unarmed personnel to Israel. The mission is expected to be operational on Sunday, 5 December. Responsibility for the deployment lies with the Humanitarian Aid of the Swiss Confederation, while the Air Force is responsible for its management.

An emergency relief team composed of three members of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit and two Armed Forces personnel has been sent to Israel today. They will prepare the deployment of the helicopters and assess the need for further humanitarian support measures.

Source: www.reliefweb.int

 

Summary of IDF Activity in the Carmel Disaster Area and Arrival of Foreign Aid

The IDF is still operating to assist forces in the Carmel on their mission to extinguish the deadly fire in the area and evacuate the area’s residents

As of yesterday noon, the IDF is operating to assist forces in the Carmel on their mission to extinguish the deadly fire in the area and evacuate the area’s residents, under the command of the Israel Police.

Early this morning, a plane from Greece carrying staff and equipment and a Bulgarian plane carrying approximately 100 firefighters landed in the Ramat David Air Force Base. The Bulgarian firefighters will deploy at an IDF Hom Front Command base, from which they will leave for their designated missions led by Israeli fire fighters.

GOC Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan is touring the area and commanding the forces operating in it.

Overnight, IDF search and rescue teams scanned the area of Tirat Ha’Carmel and Hof Ha’Carmel, installed lighting posts and helped in the evacuation of a retirement community. Home Front Command teams are also handling hazardous materials in the area.

Two hundred Home Front Command firefighters in reserve were recruited in order to assist all forces operating in the area.

A substantial number of IDF forces is operating in the area, including infantry soldiers, navy sailors, search and rescue teams, cranes, vehicles, bulldozers, IDF fire trucks, etc. IAF aircrafts assist in illuminating the area to assist the teams extinguishing the blaze, paramedics and doctors are treating those who were injured and teams of the IDF Personnel Directorate and Medical Corps are helping identify those who died in the fire.

As a result of the fire, three IDF bases in the area were evacuated yesterday.

Source: www.reliefweb.int

 

The first of three planes of EMERCOM of Russia, directed to assist with firefighting near Haifa, has left for Israel

An Il-76 plane of EMERCOM of Russia has left for Israel with the aim of assisting with firefighting near the city of Haifa. A heavy lift Il-76 plane, capable of dropping 42 tonnes of water on a fire source at a time, departed at 13:47 from situated near Moscow airdrome Ramenskoye.

An amphibian airplane Be-200 and a heavy lift helicopter Mi-26, equipped with a spray mechanism with the capacity of 15 tonnes, are also planned to leave for Israel today.

Source: www.reliefweb.int

 

EU supports Israel in combating worst forest fires in decades

The European Commission has activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism last night in response to Israel’s request for assistance to fight the fires raging in the northern part of the country.

“Alongside my condolences to the victims’ families and friends, I want to express solidarity with the people affected by the fire, and to reiterate to the authorities of Israel that Europe stands ready to work closely with them in combating this catastrophe”, said the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.

“We are moving quickly to help Israel tackle this natural disaster, whose scale is unprecedented in the country’s history. Israel can count on Europe’s immediate support. The Monitoring and Information Centre is coordinating the European assistance in the crucial hours and days ahead,” said Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

Israel has suffered large-scale forest fires in the past days. Last night, 02 December, it contacted the EU Monitoring and Information Centre with a specific request for fire-delaying and extinguishing materials, such as anti-fire powder. In response, the MIC was activated and has spread Israel’s request to the 31 members of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Within hours, the Participating States offered the requested material.

In addition, numerous Participating States offered fire fighting aircrafts, namely Greece, Spain, France, Cyprus, Spain, Croatia. Four Greek planes have already arrived on site this morning. 92 fire fighters from Bulgaria are on their way to Israel.

The MIC has also been informed about assistance provided by other countries including Russia, Egypt and Jordan.

For more information on the humanitarian aid of the European Commission

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Source: www.reliefweb.int

 

Feu de forêt en Israël – Mobilisation de la France

La France se mobilise afin de soutenir Israël dans la lutte contre l’incendie de forêt qui s’est déclaré hier au nord de Haïfa.

Le président de la République a décidé l’envoi de quatre avions bombardiers d’eau et de 80 tonnes de produits retardant la propagation de l’incendie.

Le consul de France à Haïfa et les services consulaires, qui ont été renforcés par des agents du consulat général de Tel Aviv, sont présents sur place et ont pris contact avec les ressortissants français figurant parmi les personnes évacuées des secteurs de Beit Oren, Tirat Hacarmel et de la périphérie de Haïfa.

Comme l’a déclaré le ministre d’Etat quelques heures après le début du drame, la France assure les autorités et la population israéliennes de sa solidarité dans ces circonstances tragiques.

Source: www.reliefweb.int

 

See also older news:


Top

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien