The storm passed late on Friday night but has left a trail of devastation in and around the town. Many of the businesses that were close to the beach had been inundated with water, and the action of the wind and waves has caused structural damage.
As is always the way, with the passing of the storm, cleaning up and rebuilding starts. The Red Sea Diving Festival, along with the Eilat Municipality and environmental organizations WeSea and Sharks in Israel had planned a big beach clean up event on Saturday, and despite most of the Festival’s other planned event being severely curtailed by the weather, this went ahead.
The results were amazing and awe-inspiring. The people of Eilat came out in droves and like a small army, declared war on the rubbish and detritus left by the storm.
Eilat municipality mobilized, and machinery, trucks, and personnel were provided to support the event. Even the mayor arrived to lend a hand!
The Red Sea Diving Festival was joined by other environmental organizations, including WeSea and Sharks in Israel, that mobilized an amazing cleanup.
Whole families spent hours scouring every inch of the coastline. The municipality reports that it removed around 200 lorry loads of rubbish that had been collected by the volunteers.
The damage wrought by the storm remains and still needs to be repaired, but the Eilat beaches are (arguably) much cleaner now than they were before the storm. It is said that people sometimes show the best parts of their character when under trying circumstances, certainly, this holds true of the people of Eilat in this instance.
I think it is safe to say that the 2020 Red Sea Diving Festival has not had an easy time! The twin complications of COVID-19 and a “100-year” storm have been challenging. Nevertheless, it has been a well run and enjoyable event, and I very much look forward to the next one.
Reports: Day 1
Reports: Day 2
Reports: Day 3
Gallery: Red Sea Diving Festival Shootout Results
Reports: Day 4