Seven Hikers in Critical Condition, Three Still Missing, After Flash Floods Hit Israel’s South

Seven hikers from a pre-army preparatory program were critically injured in a flash flood in the vicinity of the Tzafit stream in the south of the country on Thursday.

The seven were part of a group of about 25 who were hiking in the vicinity of the stream near the Dead Sea. Three members of the group are still missing, and police volunteers and army rescue helicopters are involved in the search for them. Fifeen other members of the group, which is based in the center of the country, were rescued. Two were rescued and were suffering from hypthermia.

– Seven critically injured, others missing, after flash floods near Dead Sea

Stormy weather in Israel’s south. – דלג

Stormy weather in Israel’s south.

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Due to high winds on Thursday, the Masada National Part near the Dead Sea was closed to the public. The Barak stream, further south, was declared off limits to visitors after the floods damaged safety installations there. A stretch of Highway 40 in the south has also been closed to traffic.

Two teenagers died in flash floods on Wednesday as Israel endured heavy rains and hail.

Israel was hit by unusually heavy rain on Wednesday, accompanied by hail in many places. Coming at the tail end of the winter rainy season, it took many Israelis by surprise and caused flooding around the country.

A meteorologist from the Meteo-Tech weather firm said the weather was caused by a large and powerful storm cloud extending 10 kilometers (6 miles) into the atmosphere. Twenty-five millimeters (an inch) of rain fell in Tel Aviv in the space of an hour while the Jerusalem area was hit by a huge 45 to 50 millimeter (about 2 inches) downpour.  

Two people were killed in the storm – a teenage Bedouin boy who was swept away by a rising stream in the south, and a Palestinian shepherd girl who drown in flooding east of Bethlehem in the West Bank.

The rain is expected to come to an end on Friday night. Temperatures will remain below normal for the end of April. Saturday will be warmer with temperatures reaching seasonal averages. Sunday will be pleasant and warmer.