Temperatures in central Israel hovered in the 100-degree Fahrenheit (37° C.) range Tuesday, which will be remembered as the first genuine “sharav” (heat wave) of the year – and it will also be remembered as the day the power went out in large parts of Bnei Brak, making the difficult heat conditions even worse, as tens of thousands were left without power for fans, air conditioners and refrigerators.
The outage affected numerous areas in the center of the city, including much of the main thoroughfare, Rabi Akiva Street. Medical emergency, chessed and social service groups received dozens of phone calls from infirm and elderly residents seeking assistance. Among the victims of the incident was a mother and a two-year-old infant who were stuck in an elevator for some time before rescuers could get them out.
The Israel Electric Corporation dispatched teams to track down and repair the problem, with expected restoration of power said to be imminent by late Tuesday. The IEC said that a cable had been damaged, and that the problem was not due to a lack of supply due to the high demand for power Tuesday. A similar widespread blackout occurred earlier this year, but was far more tolerable due to the far milder temperatures at the time.