Sunday’s severe winter storm that raged all over Israel and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean caused substantial damage to the sea wall and parts of the archeological sites of the ancient sea port of Caesarea. The site, which we wrote about last month on Green Prophet has been predicted to suffer severe damage by the relentless force of the sea, unless a significant amount of restoration work is done to protect one of the most popular archeological sites in Israel. Caesarea and other coastal archeological sites have been the subject of a planned restoration project to be carried out by the State under the supervision Architect Zeev Margalit, who personally warned that the deterioration of the ancient seaport is literally “happening in front of our eyes.”
Harbor area before the storm. It looks different now.
Anybody who managed to brave the 60 to 90 km per hour winds and rains squalls on Sunday, and was anywhere near the beachfront in places like Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Netanya, and of course Caesarea, could witness the destructive force of waves estimated to be a high as 10 meters. The damage was reported in the Jerusalem Post:
A modern-day sea wall outside the Caesarea archeological site fell early on Sunday, leaving the walls of the ancient port exposed to the crashing waves.
Israel Parks and Nature Authority officials said that if a solution is not found, the waves could cause irreparable damage to one of the country’s most-cherished archeological sites.
Ze’ev Margalit Archtect and Manager of Preservation and Development in the Nature and Parks Authority (NPA) commented:
“The situation in Caesarea (following this storm) is very worrying. There is no disagreement among experts that the current situation, if it is not improved, will lead to the destruction of one of the flagship archeological sites of Israel.”
Following the disastrous fire on the Carmel Mountain range, which burned out of control for nearly 3 days, the State has its hands full to deal with taking care of the wildlife preserves and other natural sites that were either destroyed or seriously damaged by both the fire and the severe storm. Although scientists say “let nature take its course.”
Damage to the Caesarea port and other archeological sites on Israel’s seacoast may now have to take a back seat to the other more “urgent” tasks that will be needed to be undertaken like pruning and cleanup operations in forested areas, restoration of wildlife feeding stations, and eventual tree plantings and other restoration activities.
Massive storms and other weather pattern changes, are being attributed by many to be signs of the adverse effects of global warming as we have written about on numerous occasions in Green Prophet, including comparing these storms to predictions made several years ago before global warming became so much in the news now appears of some of these predictions are becoming stark reality.
It may be a good idea for both the Nature Parks Authority in Israel and the Tourism Ministry to combine forces to deal with what has occurred in Caesarea, which is to everyone in Israel, both Jew and Arab, a national historical treasure.
More about global warming, climate change, and the effects these phenomenon are having on our local environment: