Monday, January 18, 2010

Rivers in the desert

After a warm sunny winter the rain is finally hitting us today, all across Israel.
The south is particularly hard hit, with dry wadis suddenly becoming raging rivers.
Roads have been broken up. Drivers who try to cross the flooded roads have been rescued with helicopters. One woman is dead and one man is missing.
Just last Thursday a friend and I were hiking in two canyons of the Judean Desert--Nahal Arugot and Nahal David.
Enlarge the trail map and you will understand the danger that rainfall, even far away, poses.
The Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is sandwiched in between the Dead Sea (which is more than 400 meters below sea level) and the steep Fault Escarpment, the cliffs which rise to +200 meters above sea level.

Rain up on the Desert Plateau, even as far away as Jerusalem, sends the water rushing down the narrow canyons.

The water takes with it rolling boulders, rocks, trees, mud . . . .

It makes a powerful sound.
Hikers must always plan their hikes according to the weather forecast. Announcements of possible flash floods in the low places, the desert, are always made in advance if there is any rain expected.

The sudden streams in the desert rush down to the Dead Sea, cutting up or flooding the highway.

Ein Gedi is famous as an oasis because it has springs and waterfalls and vegetation all year.

These are the waterfalls in Nahal David in normal times, i.e. last Thursday.
Scroll down a few days if you missed seeing the animals of Ein Gedi.
We certainly need rain, but not all of it in one or two days.
Let us pray for all who are in harm's way right now, including the nomads of the Bedouin diaspora who still live in tents and huts in the desert who have lost much today, including many of their sheep and goats swept away by the floods.
For photos of overturned vehicles, a bus half-covered with water, trapped cars, the helicopter rescues, etc. see Ynetnews or Haaretz.

That's it for That's My World Tuesday.
More blogger-guided tours await you at the meme's website.


Pasadena Adjacent said...

So you've had recent floods? They must have been stronger then the usual in that Bedouins having spent generations close to the land would know exactly what to do on the first rain drop.

We are experiencing the first of several storms to come. Great concern exists over those burnt mountains liquifying and heading down are flood channels.

btw: saw a Israel crew on TV involved in the search and rescue element of Haiti relief

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I'd like to take that hight one day

JM said...

The landscapes are breathtaking! And I can easily imagine the strengh of the running water after some heavy rains there!...

Bergson said...

we can give you some water if you want

Dina said...

PA, people living in the south say they have not had anything like this in the last 30 or 40 years.
Just during this morning parts of southern Israel got the rainfall they usually get in a period of three years.

Good luck to you there in California.

Yes, the Israeli search and rescue team worked for 7 hours to extricate a man trapped for 4 or 5 days. Hope your TV shows our field hospital in Haiti too.

Yes, hope you can come hike here someday, on a normal day.

JM, with your travel experience, I imagine you can imagine it.

Bergson, OK, thanks! But send your water straight to the Sea of Galilee where we drink from, not into the Dead Sea where it is wasted.

VP said...

With your beautiful images and interesting posts you are rekindling my love for these places. Now I understand why everybody there was so worried about the unexpected rain...

Reader Wil said...

Well this is aweful, Dina! When it rains it rains! It never rains but it pours. The hiking trails look very steep, I wonder if there are many trained hikers, who walk here.Thanks for your smile! ; ).

Dina said...

VP, your comment made my day!

Wil, the main trails are quite easy and many classes of schoolkids go there for a fieldtrip (like the religious girls near the waterfall).
But I was there with a visiting Swiss woman half my age and she wanted to add the higher trail that was marked "For FIT hikers only." OK, fine. Good that I had to stop often, uhh, to take pictures (and breathe). :)
Going up, one part even had a steel cable bolted to the cliff, where the path was so narrow, just like in the Alps. I held on tight and pulled myself up, and didn't look down.

Nadege said...

Everytime I watch your pictures of nature, I keep telling myself that I have to go there soon. El-Al should give you round trip air fares for advertising so beautifully Israel.
The rains haven't been that bad along the coast where I live and it seems like the hills are holding pretty well around Pasadena. We are having another monster storm coming wednesday night to thursday.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Growing up in the American west. We were always warned about such flash floods that can happen in narrow canyons miles away from the actual rains.

foto CHIP said...

The desert sure can change face - I hope you get as much water as you need :)

eileeninmd said...

The oasis looks like a beautiful place. I can understand why the place would be dangerous in flooding conditions. Wonderful photos and post.

Martha Z said...

A lovely place to hike but not safe, I can see, when much rain in expected. California is experiencing much rain this week. Like your country, it is needed but not all at once. Much of this will run off the land and into the sea.

Jack and Joann said...

I think all world deserts must be like yours. Arizona is like that I know. Arizona also has one of the highest drowning rates of any U.S. state. People underestimate the power of water in a wash that was dry days ago.

Jew Wishes said...

Your pictures are amazing. If I didn't know better, I would think they were taken here, in California, in the high desert, where I reside.

Right now we are having torrential rains that are supposed to bring 12-18 inches of rain between now and Thursday. We need the rain...but the flash flooding potential is not good, especially in the hillsides that were decimated by fires last summer.

Louis la Vache said...

Stay in and stay dry!

Cloudia said...

Same here! Storms + narrow valleys= LOOK OUT!

Aloha, Dina

Comfort Spiral

Chuck Pefley said...

This sounds a lot like Texas where the ground is so parched and hard that rain simply runs downhill and causes flash floods. Moderation in all things would be nice.

The Good Life in Virginia said...

reminds me a lot of the southern california landscape and the impact flash floods have upon that area.
the canyons are so beautiful there as is the entire area.
clicked through to the news pages and read them too.
have a wonderful day.

Pietro said...

Really interesting landscapes, Dina. They seem to me a sort of "unreal world".

Rob and Mandy said...

Remember being stuck in Ein Gedi for 4 days because of floods, spring 92. But then, I suppose Ein Gedi isn't too bad a place to be stuck. Love this place.

Regina said...

How amazing to see a streams in the dessert.
God's splendor!

Thank you for sharing.


Kay said...

Fantastic photos, Dina. It's hard to imagine the power of those floods and how dangerous they can be. We've actually had some flash floods here that tourists never expected. I guess you really need to be aware of your surroundings.