Beit Zera| A mysterious phenomenon has been affecting the waters of the Jordan River in Eastern Israel, near its junction with the Yarmouk River. Thousands of dead fish and aquatic animals have accumulated on the shores of the river over the last hours, as the color of the water has turned to an eerie blood red and began emanating a strong sulphurous smell.
Hundreds of phone calls began arriving last night at the offices of the Israel Water Authority, the Israeli Defense Force and the various regional police forces, reporting that something was wrong with the waterway and that fishes were piling up on the shores. The government authorities immediately dispatched various experts on the site to try to determine the cause of this strange calamity.
Many theories have already started to emerge on the social media that could explain the color of the water, including an algae invasion or even a divine intervention linked to the plagues of Egypt, but the stench emanating from the water and the ten of thousand of dead fish accumulated on the shores suggest that it is more likely a chemical spill or other similar event that is at the origin of the phenomenon.
The magnitude of the disaster is already catastrophic, as the scarcity of the water resources in the region makes the Jordan River an issue of utmost strategic importance for the Jewish state and its neighbours. The Jordanian government has already decided to block the supply of water coming from Israel until the cause of the problem is clearly identified.
Although most experts seem to favor a scientific and environmental explanation for this bizarre occurrence, many fantastic theories have already arisen on the internet to explain the catastrophe. This is certainly due to the fact that the affected region is of crucial symbolic and religious importance for Christians across the world, as the Bible describes it as the segment of the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3; 13-17). The appearance in such an important site of a spectacular phenomenon resembling the first of the ten plagues of Egypt (in the Book of Exodus, when God turns the water of the Nile into blood), has rapidly brought many religious people to speculate about the origins and the meaning of this disaster.
The Israeli authorities are demanding the population to stay calm and to wait for the experts to do their job and find the cause of this mysterious affliction, promising that the results of their investigation will be transmitted to the population rapidly and with total transparency.