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Israelis told to avoid Tel Aviv, Herzliya beaches due to pollution

Runoff water mixed with sewage is flowing toward the sea after heavy rainfall Thursday night in central Israel, Health Ministry says

Illustrative: A beach in Tel Aviv during stormy weather, on February 17, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Illustrative: A beach in Tel Aviv during stormy weather, on February 17, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Health Ministry on Friday published a warning against swimming at beaches in the greater Tel Aviv area, where polluted waters were streaming toward the sea.

“Following heavy rains in the Gush Dan area, runoff water mixed with sewage is being discharged from the Reading Power Station in Tel Aviv to the sea,” the ministry said.

The ministry warned against bathing on the shores of Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, and Herzliya until the polluted flow ends and “normal seawater measurements are seen.”

Thursday saw rainfall across central Israel, ahead of an expected wintry weekend.

Local showers were reported in Tel Aviv and surrounding areas, as well as in the Sharon region and the western Negev.

Rain was expected to grow stronger on Friday, with potentially heavy falls on Saturday, after a recent dry period. Meteorologists expect some 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) to fall in the center and the north by Monday when the clouds are expected to depart.

There are some concerns that central towns could experience flooding, though no major incidents are expected.

The warm temperatures over the past month have been a far cry from last year, when Israel experienced the wettest November since 1994, causing extensive flooding and damage in several coastal cities.

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