Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Floods in Jordan kill 12, force tourists to flee Petra

Jordanian civil defense members near the Dead Sea conduct a rescue mission after rain storms unleashed flash floods in Jordan Jordanian civil defense members near the Dead Sea conduct a rescue mission after rain storms unleashed flash floods in Jordan
Steven Clarke | 10 November, 2018, 17:57

Nine people were killed on Friday in Jordan after torrential rains swept across several parts of the country, according to Al Arabiya news channel correspondent.

Government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat said the highway was cut in both directions.

A civil defence source told AFP that five other people were missing.

The civil defence source said another child died in the Madaba area, also south of Amman, when the vehicle the child was in was caught up in waters.

He added that the floods in Petra are within their natural conditions and that the cadres of the Petra Commission are now working on counting tourists and evacuating them to their hotels, adding that the areas that have been exposed to the floods are: Wadi Musa and other areas, adding that the Desert Highway is open, under normal traffic conditions and with no reported accidents so far.

Twelve people died in heavy rains and flooding in parts of Jordan on Friday and authorities evacuated foreign tourists from the ancient city of Petra and other popular destinations, officials said on Saturday.

"Our embassy in Tel Aviv contacted the Israeli foreign ministry for information on the identities of the missing Israelis", Ghneimat said in statements carried by the state news agency Petra.

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The Jordanian government also evacuated 90% of valleys inhabitants in the governorate of Mafraq and sent planes, boats, and soldiers to help in the search operations for missing residents.

A rescuer was also among the dead, the civil defence spokesman said.

It broadcast footage of tourists sheltering on high ground on both sides of the access road to Jordan's biggest attraction.

Designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1985, Petra draws hundreds of thousands of tourists a year to its rock-hewn treasury, temples and mausoleums.

The deaths come more than two weeks after October 25 floods in the Dead Sea region of Jordan cost 21 lives, majority children on a school trip. Jordan's tourism and education ministers resigned after the incident.

Jordan's ministry of education announced that schools across the country would be closed on Sunday.

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