The Latest: Israel says 9 teens died in flash floods

The Latest on the deadly flash floods in Israel (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

Israel's rescue service says nine teenagers have died in flash floods while hiking south of the Dead Sea.

It says they were all 18 years old. Israeli media say that eight of the fatalities were female and one was male. Reports say another hiker is still missing.

Earlier, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said 25 students in a pre-army course were "caught off guard" and some were "washed away" Thursday by heavy rains as they were hiking in the area.

The Dead Sea, the world's lowest point at about 1,400 feet below sea level, is surrounded by desert and generally arid cliffs. Rain can come rushing down the steep descents, causing sudden and violent torrents in otherwise dry spots.

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6:55 p.m.

Israeli police say several young people are missing and others have been injured after a group of hikers was caught in flash floods south of the Dead Sea.

Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Thursday that 25 students in a pre-army course were "caught off guard" and some were "washed away" by heavy rains as they were hiking in the area.

Police and army helicopters are searching for the missing. Israeli media says nine of the injured are fighting for their lives.

The Dead Sea, the world's lowest point at about 1,400 feet below sea level, is surrounded by desert and generally arid cliffs. Rain can come rushing down the steep descents, causing sudden and violent torrents in otherwise dry spots.

Heavy rainfall has fallen sporadically over the past two days.