Two dead as Israel hit by biggest deluge in decades

Water in the north

In separate incidents, a shepherd and a teenager riding an all-terrain vehicle have been killed in flash floods in the Galilee.

Two people died in northern Israel as parts of the country were hit by the largest amount of rain within a 24-hour period in decades. The body of Majed Kassem Suad, a 27 year-old shepherd, was found in the Galilee after he was swept into a wadi by a flash flood, and 16 year-old Omri Abu Janb suffered a similar fate, when he was caught in a flash flood when crossing a river in his all-terrain vehicle.

Since the start of the current round of rainfall on Wednesday, many parts of northern Israel have seen more than 200 millimeters of rainfall, the Israel Meteorological Service reports including the largest amounts of rain recorded for decades in a 24-hour period. From 8am Wednesday to 8am Thursday, 126 millimeters fell in Safed and the surrounding Mount Canaan, the largest daily precipitation since 1939 and 109 millimeters fell in the Western Jezreel Valley, the largest 24-hour rainfall since 1990.

Since Wednesday morning there has been less rainfall in the center and south of the country with 74 millimeters in Jerusalem, 82 millimeters in Netanya, and 69 millimeters in Bnei Brak. The south hardly had any rain at all, with just 1 millimeter recorded in Beersheva.

The heavy rains combined with the high winds has meant that Haifa Port has been closed since Wednesday and a ship ran aground off Ashdod Port.

The level of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) has risen nine centimeters over the past few days to - 211.47 meters, the Israel Water Authority reports, and is expected to rise further towards the maximum level of - 208.8 meters in the coming few days.

Mount Hermon had its first heavy snowfall of the season with 50 millimeters of snow recorded at the ski site's upper cable car station and 35 millimeters at the lower station. The ski site will remain closed until the weather clears with temperatures of -2°C recorded on the Hermon.

Scattered showers are expected to continue through today and Saturday, with the weather becoming brighter and warmer on Sunday.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 27, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

Water in the north
Water in the north
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