Florida State University International Programs says that an American tourist who has died while hiking Tuesday during a heatwave in Israel was a student participating in the university’s summer program hosted by the Rabin Center in Jerusalem.
Briana McHam, 20, of Pompano Beach, Fla. died during an excursion to Masada, which is under the authority of Israel’s National Park System.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says the 20-year-old woman fell about 5 meters (about 16 feet) at the site of Masada on Tuesday, one of the hottest days of the year. He says the fall was not the cause of death but that the woman suffered dehydration after the fall, which then led to her death.
Other hikers noticed she had gone missing and her body was found after an hour.
Israel is experiencing a heat wave that sparked fires around the country earlier this week.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our students, who was at the beginning of a life of discovery broadening her horizons,” said Dr. James Pitts, director of International Programs. “Our hearts go out to her family, and we will assist them in any way we can, as well as other FSU students who might be affected during this difficult time.”