Ten teenagers have died in flash floods in Israel while hiking at Nahal Tzafit south of the Dead Sea.
The Israeli rescue service said they were all 18 years old. Israeli media said that eight of those killed were women and it was reported that another hiker is still missing.
The Times of Israel reported the victims as being Ilan Bar Shalom, Shani Shamir, Agam Levy, Romi Cohen, Tzur Alfi, Ella Or, Gali Balali , Maayan Barhum, Adi Raanan, and Yael Sadan.
Earlier, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said 25 students in a pre-army course were “caught off guard” and some were “washed away” on Thursday by heavy rains as they were hiking in the area.
The Dead Sea, the world’s lowest point at about 1,400 feet below sea level, is surrounded by desert and generally arid cliffs. Rain can come rushing down the steep descents, causing sudden and violent torrents in otherwise dry spots.
Police and army helicopters were deployed to search for the missing member of the group but search operations were later suspended until the morning due to harsh conditions, police said.
Heavy rainfall has fallen sporadically over the past two days.