Rescue teams are searching for a 14-year-old who was probably carried away by a flood near the northern Druze villages of Yarka and Jat on Thursday.
Omri Abu Ganab disappeared after he and a 23-year-old friend tried crossing a powerful stream on an ATV, which appears to have overturned. Rescue forces located the all-terrain vehicle as well as the friend who had been rescued and taken to a nearby hospital.
A spokesperson for the Israel Fire and Rescue Services in the Shore District said that despite the large presence of firefighting and rescue teams at the scene, the teen's condition remains unknown.
"Firefighting and rescue forces are currently working with the assistance of Special Rescue Unit troops, the Lehava Central Fire Unit and divers to locate a boy who wanted to cross the spring on an ATV together with his friend. The friend was found, but not the second youth."
Major floods were reported in northern and central Israel as entire streets became submerged in Tayibe, Umm al-Fahm, Baqa al-Gharbiyye, Qalansawe and Kafr Qara.
The Sea of Galilee reportedly rose by 6 cm within 24 hours, 4.5 cm of which during the night, setting the world's lowest sweetwater lake's elevation level at 211.765 meters below sea level.
The storm system, which comes after a period of unseasonably warm and dry weather, has hit the north of Israel in the early morning hours and was making its way south, with low temperatures, heavy showers and strong gusts expected to last until Saturday.
Before the current rainstorm, measurements showed that this year's annual rainfall in northern Israel stood at around 50% percent of the yearly average, but this number has soared to over 110% of the region's expected quantity of precipitation in a little over 24 hours.
Police forces are said to be on high alert, calling for people to prepare for road closures due to flooding and urged the residents to stay away from low lying areas.
First published: 12:24 , 12.26.19