Body of Tenth Teenager Found After Flash Flood in Southern Israel

(Reuters/Hamodia) -
A helicopter operates near the site where a group of Israeli youths was swept away by a flash flood, near the Zafit river bed, Israel, Thursday. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

The body of a tenth teenager was discovered after a group of students were swept away by a flash flood in the Negev Desert in southern Israel on Thursday, bring the death toll to a total of nine girls and one boy.

Military helicopters and search and rescue units scoured the Zafit river bed that flows into the rift valley at the southern end of the Dead Sea after a flash flood caught a party of 25 trekkers in the usually bone-dry area by surprise.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu described the event as a “terrible disaster” and praised rescuers for their efforts.

After two days of heavy rainfall, normally arid river beds that run from west to east have filled up and deposited surges of water into the Dead Sea and the rift valley region that runs south along the Negev Desert.