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"Authorities had issued warnings to avoid the area because of the risk of flash floods following two days of heavy rain", says the BBC.

- Flash floods killed nine Israeli teenagers who were hiking south of the Dead Sea on Thursday, Israel's rescue service said. The main question being asked was why the group had made a decision to continue with the hike in an area known for flash floods.

The nine hikers, eight female and one male, were part of a group of about 25 who were hiking in the vicinity of the stream near the Dead Sea.

TheTimes 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.

The funerals for the young students were slated to be held Friday in their hometowns. "I ask you all, please follow the instructions of the police and rescue forces and be attentive to them", his statement read.

Flash floods have killed several people in Israel.

A survivor who witnessed a almost 10-foot wave sweep his friends away told local media, "I saw bodies floating in the water".

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One of her friends replied that she was sure the organisers knew what they were doing.

"She slipped away from me in front of my eyes", the teenage boy said.

The hike was meant to be a three-day bonding experience for the participants, officials said.

"I can not believe I'm going on a trip in such weather", said the teen, who later died.

The hike the students were on was meant to be a "bonding trip" for them, according to officials.

The floods also claimed the lives of two children from Israel's Bedouin community who were washed away in separate torrents on Wednesday.


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