Two dead as heavy rains pummel Israel, West Bank and Egypt

Two dead as heavy rains pummel Israel, West Bank and Egypt
The rain left two dead in Israel and the West Bank, and flooded streets in select territories across the eastern Mediterranean.
2 min read
25 April, 2018
Cairo's streets routinely flood when it rains [Getty]

Two teenagers died from severe floods that hit Israel and the Palestinian territories on Wednesday, the first of three days of expected heavy rain.

A 17-year-old Bedouin boy was swept away in a river in the southern Israeli Negev desert. A 17-year-old girl was also found dead east of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank after being taken by a current. 

Dozens of millimetres of rainfall hit several locations across Israel, with some parts of the country seeing hail. Many streets were flooded in central Israel, forcing road closures and motorists to abandon their vehicles.

The amount of rainfall to strike Israel and the Palestinian territories was not exceptional for this time of year, but it will continue for another three days. It is also expected to affect most of the country. 

Separately, heavy rainfall pummeled the Egyptian capital and other parts of the country for a second day in a row on Wednesday, with showers flooding Cairo's streets.

The rain forced authorities to close highways connecting Cairo to elsewhere in the country, the state-run news agency MENA reported.

New Cairo, a leafy suburb east of the capital, was the hardest hit, with electrical cables landing in floodwaters that trapped people in their cars. Cairo residents captured the floods on their cell phones and circulated them widely on social media.

The downpour forced police to rescue 24 people - including 21 students, their driver and two supervisors - who became trapped on a reserve near Cairo while on a field trip, the Interior Ministry said.

Heavy rains are expected to continue throughout the week in Egypt, according to the Meteorological Authority. The rain is expected to ease up starting Friday. 

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