JERUSALEM, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- A young man was killed and a teen boy went missing in floods caused by unusual rainstorms in Israel on Thursday.
Rainstorms and thunderstorms have swept through Israel, from north to south, since Wednesday night.
The casualty was identified as Majd Qassem Su'ad, a shepherd from the Bedouin village of Salama in the Galilee. He was drowned in a flash flood as he was trying to close a gate near a river.
Israel's Magen David Adom emergency service said in a statement that he was found unconscious and an ambulance rushed him to a hospital, where he was declared dead.
In the nearby Druze town of Yarka, two persons who were raiding an all-terrain vehicle were swept away in a flash flood. A 23-year-old man was rescued and 14-year-old Omri Abu Janev was announced missing. Rescue teams, including divers, continue their attempts to locate him after nightfall.
Strong winds, reaching about 80-90 kph, sent a cargo ship off its route. The ship, sailing under the flag of Panama and carrying cement, attempted to dock at the port of Ashdod city in southern Israel before it was drifted to a nearby beach. Port officials said they were working to refloat the vessel.
Especially heavy rains were reported in northern and central Israel as entire streets were flooded in the Arab towns of Tayibe, Umm al-Fahm, Baqa al-Gharbiyye, Qalansawe, and Kafr Qara.
In two highways in the entrance to Tel Aviv, Israel's financial capital, malfunctioning traffic lights due to heavy rainfalls caused major traffic jams.
According to Israel Meteorological Service, the rains are forecasted to increase on Friday before they will weaken on Saturday.