On November 24, 2016, Haifa suffered a tremendous blow when it endured the third catastrophe in a decade. After the 2006 Second Lebanon War that paralyzed the city for long days and Hezbollah’s missile destroyed homes and after the residents of Haifa finished licking their wounds from the Carmel disaster in 2010, we needed to recover from yet another massive wildfire, the worst disaster Haifa has experienced since 1948.
Six schools and kindergartens were burned down. 280 hectares of vegetation vanished. 527 apartments were evacuated and were deemed uninhabitable. In addition, Haifa suffered a major infrastructural blow when numerous underground water and electricity pipes were blown by the heat.
Like the phoenix we have risen. With the generous help of our friends in and outside of Haifa, in Germany, the United States and Canada, today signs of the fire are hard to find. From the first moments of the fire, the Municipality of Haifa responded efficiently and effectively and handled the needs of the residents. The Mayor of Haifa invited Israel’s Minister of Finance, a Haifa resident, to assess the damage and define the path to reconstruction. And so, together with you our friends all over the world, everybody mobilized to make Haifa beautiful and vibrant again. The evacuated residents are back to their renovated homes and we managed to restore the city to its pre-fire condition.
With your support, since the fire the Haifa Foundation renovated playground and parks as well as schools and kindergartens. Thanks to your concern and kindness, our city is green again and the fire a long memory.
This is a great opportunity to thank all of you for being there for us at the moment of need. We are deeply grateful for your efforts and for your heart warming generosity.