Two Israelis' bodies found after flooding, stormy weather in South

Third person who went missing found safely by police.

IDF helicopters depart Palmachim Air Base en route to a rescue mission in the South ((IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Siblings Ma’ayan, 24, and Sahar Asor, 17, were identified on Tuesday as the two people killed after being reported missing on Monday evening due to heavy floods and strong winds across the South.

The siblings, residents of Tiberias, were en route to Eilat on Monday before disappearing in the Arava region.

A third person who went missing alongside the siblings, Ma’ayan’s girlfriend, Shay Dahan, was found safely by Israel Police earlier on Tuesday.

They went missing after being swept up in their car around the Nahal Tsihor area on Highway 40, around 50 km. southeast of Mitzpe Ramon.

Following initial reports of the three who went missing, dozens of others were rescued thanks to radar searches conducted by police. On Monday evening, police said they had received thousands of calls to the Southern District’s control center.

The Rescue of an Israeli by IDF's Unit 669 Search & Rescue Unit on April 11, 2023 (IDF SPOEKSEPERSON'S UNIT

Roads blocked across Israel's North and South

The treacherous conditions continued on Wednesday as more heavy rain fell and flooding caused the closure of much of Highway 90, which runs along the Jordan Valley to Eilat, as well as other routes in the South, including portions of Highway 40.

This caused massive traffic jams as travelers trying to return home from Passover vacations were unable to do so and stuck on the roads.

Police only opened the roads late Wednesday night.

Acting Mayor of Tiberias Boaz Yosef said these were very difficult moments for the entire city. “...[a] city that, since the hours of the night, kept its fingers crossed, prayed and hoped for the good news and a Passover miracle, but the worst of all happened,” he said.

In light of the disaster, Yosef said the municipality was canceling its traditional Mimouna celebration tour on Wednesday evening.

A Facebook post written on behalf of the municipality said that on behalf of all the residents of Tiberias, “we send our heartfelt condolences to the beloved and dear Asor family and embrace them in their difficult time.”  

 Rainbow over Nahal Tzin on Monday afternoon, April 10, 2023.  (credit: ADI SHATKAI/ISRAEL NATURE AND PARKS AUTHORITY) Rainbow over Nahal Tzin on Monday afternoon, April 10, 2023. (credit: ADI SHATKAI/ISRAEL NATURE AND PARKS AUTHORITY)

Ma’ayan and Sahar Asor leave behind their parents Nini and Kinneret, and brothers Tomer and Guy.

In the North, a wall collapsed earlier on a road in Haifa, with police and the Nature and Parks Authority advising travelers to stay away from the streams in the area.

Rain is expected to continue on Thursday with a chance of storms. In the afternoon, the rain is expected to lighten while temperatures remain colder than normal.

Friday’s weather is forecasted to be calmer with a slight rise in temperatures.