The water level in the Sea of Galilee has risen by an unprecedented three meters (10 feet) over the past year, the Water Authority reported Tuesday.
Only a year ago, the water level in the freshwater lake stood below the lower red line, at which point pumping water is restricted by the government.
In January 2018, waterline measured some 211.34 meters (693 feet) below sea level. This year, however, the waterline stands at 214.43 meters (703.5 feet) below sea level, representing an increase of some 3.09 meters.
The Sea of Galilee is still 2.54 meters (100 inches) short of reaching its full capacity.
The Water Authority said the welcomed rise in the water level is due to an especially rainy winter season in Israel in addition to the amount of water being pumped from the lake dropping to a minimum.
The water level is expected to increase even further in the coming days, as yet another storm system is set to his Israel on Wednesday and last for at least three days. Over the past 24 hours alone, the water level has climbed by 5 cm (2 inches).
Meteorologist Tzahi Waxman from Meteo-Tech meteorological company said the upcoming storm may raise the water level by an additional 10 cm (4 inches) but warned of widespread flooding along the coastal plain in the northern and central Israel that may also occur as a result.
“This is a powerful storm system and it will stay in our region for almost three days,” he said. “It certainly pleases those in the water sector, but you have to understand some unpleasant situations may occur when it comes to flooding and damage from strong winds."
The storm system that hit Israel over the past weekend was especially powerful, claiming the lives of four people.
Ali Agbaria from an Arab town Ar'ara, whose body was found Monday, became the last victim of the violent storm that battered central and northern Israel. A 72-year-old man from the northern town of Binyamina was washed away in a strong flood and later found dead near Nahal Taninim on Sunday evening, while on Saturday two people drowned in a Tel Aviv elevator as it flooded with rainwater.
First published: 15:56 , 01.07.20