Incredible video captures rare footage of Wadi Zin flash flood in Israel

Flash floods are very dangerous; they come quickly, often catch people by surprise, and their force is formidable. This is especially true of Israel’s Wadi Zin, a deceptively dry riverbed most of the time. Visitors to the Dead Sea captured rare footage of a recent flash flood – a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Periodic flooding of the Zin river is well documented in Biblical texts (river translates to wadi in Arabic or nahal in Hebrew) and in modern times.

The river rises in the Ramon Crater, a unique geological phenonemon known as a Makhtesh formed by erosion, which is located in the Negev Desert roughly 52 miles south of Beersheba.

When full, the 75 mile long river drains 600 square miles before dumping into the southern edge of the Dead Sea, but most of the time the river is dry, located as it is in the parched desert.

Related: 5 Star Isrotel Beresheet overlooks the Ramon Crater in Israel

When it does come to life, though, with a flash flood, it is a dramatic event that is rarely witnessed since flash floods are feared in this region.

Heavy rains in the desert highlands finally made their way to the Dead Sea region, as this footage reveals. The massive sandy waters rush down the riverbed before crashing over a precipice, creating small but powerful waterfalls.

A dog barely escaped being swept up by the water and several spectators are seen running as the water crashed down the valley.

Bear in mind, however, that sudden water surges such as this are also exceptionally destructive. Any vegetation in the river’s path would have been destroyed, and soil eroded.

Still, it’s pretty cool to watch a river come back to life with a flash flood – especially in the desert.

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By Tafline Laylin

As a tour leader who led “eco-friendly” camping trips throughout North America, Tafline soon realized that she was instead leaving behind a trail of gas fumes, plastic bottles and Pringles. In fact, wherever she traveled – whether it was Viet Nam or South Africa or England – it became clear how inefficiently the mandate to re-think our consumer culture is reaching the general public.

Born in Iran, raised in South Africa and the United States, she currently splits her time between Africa and the Middle East.

Tafline can be reached at tafline (at) greenprophet (dot) com.

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