1,200 students rescued from Jerusalem school cut off by flooding
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1,200 students rescued from Jerusalem school cut off by flooding

One-quarter of city’s average annual rainfall hits Jerusalem in a single day, leading to flooding and multiple dramatic rescues throughout the capital

Man is rescued from floodwaters in the Arazim Valley, west of Jerusalem, February 28, 2019. (Channel 12 screen capture)
Man is rescued from floodwaters in the Arazim Valley, west of Jerusalem, February 28, 2019. (Channel 12 screen capture)

Some 1,200 trapped students were evacuated Thursday from a school in southern Jerusalem that was cut off by flooding across an access road, amid unseasonal rains in the capital.

The students were taken out of the school, in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ein Kerem, via jeeps in groups of three and four after officials concluded it was unsafe to let schoolbuses approach the campus.

The students were all in good health, police said, and prior to their extraction were cared for by teachers and police officers sent to the campus. The school was kept heated and the students were given meals.

Several of the jeeps were themselves caught in the floodwaters, requiring special rescues.

Police asked parents and others seeking to help not to come to the area.

Floodwaters near Ein Kerem in southern Jerusalem, February 28, 2019. (Channel 12 screen capture)

Some 136 millimeters of rainfall hit Jerusalem on Thursday, equal to one-quarter of the city’s annual average rainfall.

The unusual precipitation has caused flooding in several areas. Dozens of people were trapped by floodwaters inside a building in the Beit Hanina neighborhoods, where a separate rescue operation is underway.

Earlier Thursday, two drivers were trapped in a vehicle caught in a flood in the Arazim Valley, the valley separating Jerusalem and its western suburb Mevasseret Zion, and had to be pulled from the flooding by rescuers.

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