Firefighters rescued at least 8 people from submerged vehicles in southern Israel as several roads flooded after heavy rains late Sunday night.
In Ashkelon, six people, including a pregnant woman, were pulled from water-logged cars. Several of them were trapped in an underground parking lot that flooded.
Two others had to be rescued after streets flooded in the nearby town of Kiryat Gat. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The Ashkelon municipality said it was installing pumps along some roads in a bid to clear them.
Videos posted to social media showed people paddling down a main road in a kayak and waist-deep water rushing through dozens of homes.
Winter has so far been late in Israel this year, but the weather was forecast to turn colder, wetter, and more stormy in the coming days.
ההצפות לא פסחו על ביתה של רחל גלאם, אמו של ראש עיריית אשקלון תומר גלאם.
צילום: מירו חג׳ג׳ pic.twitter.com/oLcj6XpHsE
— almog boker (@bokeralmog) December 8, 2019
Earlier Sunday, a 19-year-old man sustained serious injuries in a lightning strike in northern Israel, less than two months after a fatal bolt killed a teenager.
The man, who was struck near Kibbutz Ramat HaShofet, was taken to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa for treatment.
His friends told the Magen David Adom ambulance service that there heavy rain followed by a bolt of lightning, after which they noticed their friend lying on the ground. The group were standing in an open field at the time.
“The young man’s life was saved thanks to the treatment in the field that he got from his friends,” his doctor at Rambam said.
The man sustained severe burns and was unconscious and connected to a respirator when he was taken to the hospital. Medics said he was in serious but stable condition.
In October, a 14-year-old boy, Asher Hazut, died after he was struck by lightning during a family outing to a beach.
Hazut’s death was the first in Israel from a lightning strike since 2007, when a fisherman was killed off the northern coast.