Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Floods in Jordan kill 11, force tourists to flee Petra

Floods kill 7 in Jordan and force tourists to flee Petra Jordan flash floods: Seven killed and tourists evacuated from Petra
Kenny Thornton | 10 November, 2018, 22:21

Friday's downpour rolled across southern Jordan, claiming seven lives, including two children, government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat said on Friday. Rescuers continued the search for missing people around the Wala reservoir in central Jordan on Saturday.

Flash floods in Jordan have killed at least 12 people and wounded several others, the state-run Jordan News Agency reported on Saturday, one-day after heavy rain hit several parts of the country, including the ancient stone-city of Petra.

Ongoing rainfall in the Daba'a region of southern Jordan also led to the closure of the desert highway in both directions, said Ghuneimat. The Jordanian military said that that it has sent soldiers and helicopters to assist in search operations.

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.

Authorities banned all tourist trips and declared a state of emergency in the Red Sea port city of Aqaba further south as downpours continued for a few hours before subsiding overnight.

The latest deaths come after October 25 flash floods in the Dead Sea region of the kingdom killed 21 people, a lot of them children on a school trip.

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Thousands of persons were rescued from various disaster areas, including hundreds of tourists in Petra, she said.

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

In Petra, the ancient trade hub carved into rose-hued rocks, heavy rains began at around 1 p.m. Friday and last for about 40 minutes, said Rafael Dorado, 41, a tourist from Spain.

He added that the Petra Commission is working to evacuate tourists from inside Petra and transfer them to hotels according to the emergency plan, stressing that the operating rooms and the concerned authorities are following up on the situation.

Last week, Jordan's education and tourism ministers resigned after the deaths of 21 people, mostly schoolchildren on an outing, who were swept away in flash floods near the Dead Sea in late October, state media said.

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