Haifa Mayor Warns of ‘Horror Scenario’ Similar to Beirut’s
The twin cooling towers of Haifa’s oil refinery are shown on June 14, two days after the one on the right partially collapsed. (Amire80/Wikimedia Commons)

Haifa Mayor Warns of ‘Horror Scenario’ Similar to Beirut’s

Haifa Mayor Einat Kalish Rotem says this week’s disaster in Beirut should serve as a “wake-up call” for her city, citing refineries and petrochemical plants located near housing for close to a million people. “The fear among all of us, based on experts in the field, is exactly a horror scenario like the one that erupted… north of Israel [in Lebanon],” she wrote on her official Facebook page. “There is no place for hazardous substances and polluting factories within the urban space and among the population. After being shocked by the harsh sights from Lebanon, it’s time to act.” An ammonia storage tank near Haifa, now empty, was often cited as a target by the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hizbullah, which, according to intelligence reports, has amassed perhaps tens of thousands of missiles it could fire toward Israel in the next war. In June, one of the twin cooling towers at a Haifa refinery partially collapsed, causing some damage but no casualties. Meanwhile, Prof. Dan Shechtman, an Israeli Nobel laureate in chemistry, told the Times of Israel he doubted the city would see an explosion of the type that leveled Beirut’s port on Tuesday. “In Haifa,” he said, “people die slowly from air pollution.”

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