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Storm Daniel slams Israel with heavy, unseasonal rains

Israeli authorities are warning of potential flash floods, and heavy precipitation opened several sinkholes in the center of the country.

Lightning over the Naftali Mountains and the Hula Valley during a storm on June 3, 2023. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.
Lightning over the Naftali Mountains and the Hula Valley during a storm on June 3, 2023. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.

Storm Daniel battered Israel with heavy rain on Wednesday, after causing mass destruction in Libya and several other countries in the Mediterranean region earlier this week.

Israeli authorities warned of potential flash floods in the Judean Desert and Dead Sea areas as well as in the northern Jordan Valley.

The were also reports of sinkholes opening up in the center of the country, where the Israel Meteorological Service forecast two to three inches of precipitation.

The unseasonable storm is expected to last only one day.

In Libya, over 5,000 people have been confirmed dead after flood waters smashed dams and swept away entire neighborhoods in the eastern city of Derna. According to Libyan officials, the final toll could surpass 10,000.

Daniel—dubbed a “medicane” for its Mediterranean location and hurricane-like properties—made landfall in Libya on Sunday after lashing Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece, where at least 18 people were killed.

Medicanes form once or twice a year in the region, most often between September and January.

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