Parks authority bans hiking in dry wadis as first rain looms

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority is closing off several hiking trails in the Judean Desert, warning of flash flooding in dry riverbeds as rains move into the region Wednesday.

The authority says it is forbidding hiking in the Darga, Tekoa, Mashash and Og streambeds near the Dead Sea in the West Bank. In addition, it is closing off trails in Wadi Qelt.

Much of the country is expected to see showers Wednesday morning, a somewhat early start to the rainy season after the dry summer.

Ultra-orthodox Jews watch flooded water running through a valley blocking the main road along the Dead Sea, near the desert fortress of Masada, following heavy rainfall on April 25, 2018. (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)

Thrillseekers often flock to desert riverbeds during early rains to watch flash floods turn the arid landscape into a frenzy of gushing watercourses, a dangerous and sometimes fatal pastime.

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