2 Jordanian men crushed to death in Eilat by tree uprooted by wind

Stormy weather also opens sinkhole in central city of Givatayim; Sea of Galilee rises 4.5 centimeters

The scene of a tree that was uprooted by strong winds in Eilat on March 30, 2019. (Magen David Adom)
The scene of a tree that was uprooted by strong winds in Eilat on March 30, 2019. (Magen David Adom)

Two young men were killed Saturday in the southern city of Eilat after a palm tree uprooted by strong winds crushed them, as heavy rains and stormy weather hit Israel over the weekend.

The pair, Jordanian workers in their 20s, were declared dead at the scene near a hotel on the Red Sea coast.

The Foreign Ministry said it was in contact with the Jordanian embassy over the matter.

Two other Jordanian nationals were lightly injured by the fallen tree’s branches, and were taken to the city’s Yoseftal hospital, while several others at the scene were treated after suffering panic attacks.

“It was a difficult incident,” said Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics Nir Yeffet and Moshiko Oren, according to a statement by MDA.

“The winds here are very strong. When we arrived we saw a tree trunk several meters long on the grass, next to two men who had been critically injured when the tree was uprooted and fell on them. They had very severe wounds all over their bodies. We medically examined them but they had no vital signs and we had to pronounce their death.”

There were other incidents reported in Eilat following the stormy weather, including a light post that fell and a man who almost drowned while swimming in the sea and was taken to hospital in serious condition.

Elsewhere, a sinkhole was caused Sunday morning by heavy rains in the central city of Givatayim, prompting authorities to close the road to traffic. The winter spell is due to continue on Sunday and Monday and end Tuesday morning.

Rains in the north of the country caused the Sea of Galilee water level to rise by 4.5 centimeters since Friday.

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