I know I haven't been around lately.
I doubt that'd change, but I just had to write this.
We are supposed to be celebrating Hanukka, but it's a sad holyday this year.
On Thursday afternoon, I was driving to my parents' place, approx. 50 miles away. There was a giant black cloud in the sky, but I didn't think much of it. At least until my sister had called.
She asked me what route I was driving on, telling me some routes were closed due to a giant fire raging on the mountain. Honestly, she freaked me out a bit, but I realized I was on a route that was relatively away from the fire.
I also realized the giant dark cloud was actually the black smoke you could see from 50 miles away.
On my way there, the road shifted so that I was driving straight towards the fire (still quite far, over 10 miles), and man, those flames must have been at least 40 feet high for me to have seen them that clearly from so far away. The mountain looked like a volcano, with all the fire and the smoke.
I was finally able to get a local radio station and found out about a horror that had taken place a couple of hours earlier.
A prison was evacuated due to the smoke and nearing fire. A bus of prison guards in training was on route to assist the evacuation. Thing is, the wind speed here is 25mph at its slowest, and a road that was considered an escape route just seconds earlier was engulfed in flame so fast there was no chance of escape.
nearly men and women died in that bus. Burned alive. More men, including a 16 year old volunteer, died trying to get to them.
And the fire burned on.
Quickly it had become apparent that our firefighters had no chance of defeating the fire, that all the firefighting materials were running out or had in fact ran out.
The fire burned through kibuts(es?) and villages, getting as far as the southern borders of the port city of Haifa, which is a large metropolin with hundreds of thousands of people.
Few villages and kibuts(es) were evacuated, their houses catching fire, and the fire kept raging on, changing direction as the strong winds picked up speed and fanned the flames.
Friday morning started with more fires. Arsons. One pretty close to where my parents live. I drove close by today to gas up my car, and the smoke was still blowing.
Several fires were started by arsons, from the south, to the middle of the country (near Jerusalem), and many more to the north - around the Carmel mountain range and even farther south.
Two arsonists had been caught by the police, but there are more, as more fires break all the time.
Over 4 million trees have burnt down as of yet, and the fire is still going strong.
There's wild life in those woods, or were wildlife. There was a reserve for wounded animals and a park of wildlife in its natural habitat. That park is burned down, though thankfully, most if not all of the animals were evacuated in time.
We have no idea how long the fire will keep on burning, and change course.
Help came from around the world, and we are greatful for it, but you cannot even...
Mount Carmel is nicknamed the Evergreen Mountain. It was beautiful, and now it's black and scorched.
The fire still threatens the Haifa university, and its ajacent museums. Houses had burned. People have burned, and there is no end in sight.
The worst part (aside from the deaths and the poor, poor animals)? People did this. Some of it on purpose.
The fire started from 4 points of origin. Other fires started from 4-9 points of origin, in places miles apart. That's arson. That's just plain evil.
We hadn't had any rain this year, and it's December already.
I just feel like crying over the loss of this beautiful place, and the people who died while trying to rescue others.
Demons I get. People can be even more evol.
Current Mood: sad