(JTA) — An extreme heat wave in Israel has caused the death of an 18-year-old soldier and sent eight civilians, including a toddler, to the hospital.
Pvt. Dan Sela of the northern city of Afula died in Jerusalem on Tuesday after collapsing from heat stroke during an educational tour of the Old City, the Times of Israel reported. Although the temperature in Jerusalem was 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity was almost 40 percent, and Sela’s body temperature had reached 107 degrees.
Meanwhile, hikers in the West Bank area of Wadi Qelt and in the foothills of Mount Carmel, near Haifa, had to be rescued because they were suffering from dehydration.
The heat wave began Sunday. According to Haaretz, the temperatures in most parts of the country on Tuesday were slightly lower than the previous day, but humidity was dramatically higher. Areas experiencing the highest temperatures were the Hula Valley (105.8 degrees) in the North and the Jordan Valley (111.2 degrees).
The heat wave, which is not expected to break until Thursday, broke temperature records on Sunday, with Sunday night the hottest since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, according to Ynet. The heat led to record electricity consumption on Monday.
A record-breaking heat wave in May caused forest fires.