Flash floods kill seven in Jordan

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 10, 2018

In all, 12 people were killed, including two children and a diver who had been involved in rescue efforts, according to state media and Jordanian government spokeswoman Jumana Ghuneimat.

Divers have been searching for five people whose auto was swept away by floods in the Madaba area, southwest of the capital Amman.

"Rescuers are searching for five people who are missing in that area", the source said.

In the Dabaa area, also south of Amman, two women and a girl were killed in the floods which also forced the closure of a desert highway.

Jordanian army troops deployed helicopters and armoured vehicles to help search for the missing and assist residents threatened by the floods, state television reported.

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.

Authorities declared a state of emergency in the Red Sea port city of Aqaba further south as downpours started in the afternoon.

The deaths come more than two weeks after October 25 floods in the Dead Sea region of Jordan cost 21 lives, a lot of them children on a school trip.

The southern part of Jordan witnessed flash floods due to torrential rain, especially in the areas of Maan, Wadi Musa, Petra tourist city, and the provinces of Madaba and al-Balqa.

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

Ghneimat urged residents of the stricken areas and in low-lying regions to evacuate their homes, saying that heavy rains were expected to continue to lash Jordan Friday night and Saturday. There was a public outcry last month after 18 children on a school trip were swept away, leading to the resignation of the country's education and tourism ministers.

The spokeswoman said more than 3,600 tourists visited Petra on Friday, and that efforts were continuing to evacuate them.

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

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