Jewish Community Faces Dangerous Flood After Dam Bursts

The Jewish Community of Orenburg, in the Ural Mountains, went into emergency mode after melting ice and snow caused the water levels of the Ural River to rise dangerously high and burst a river dam.

As the melting ice and snow caused the water levels of the Ural River to rise dangerously high, a state of emergency was declared on Friday throughout the region. The large amounts of water caused the dam to burst and many villages were flooded.

Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations reported that by yesterday about 3000 homes in the area were already flooded and thousands of residents were evacuated from the nearby Orsk region.

The city of Orenburg, located in the south of the Ural Mountains sits on the Ural River near the mouth of the Skamarka River, which overflowed its banks and flooded the streets of the city which is populated by over half a million inhabitants. 

An emergency meeting was held in the city’s main shul, where the Shliach Rabbi Goel Meyers conveyed words of encouragement and halachic answers to the community members as were sent to him by Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar in light of the unusual circumstances. 

Additionally, a number of steps were agreed upon to ensure that all buildings are appropriately sealed, and that immediate assistance will be provided to every Jewish family in the city. All this as the usual Pesach preparations continue, with matza and wine being distributed so that as many Jews as possible can celebrate the Seder in true freedom. 

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