Sunday, 18 November, 2018

At least seven dead after new round of flash floods hit Jordan

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
Pablo Mccormick | 10 November, 2018, 17:56

Petra Directorate witnessed heavy rainfall on Friday evening, causing floods in several areas, without any casualties.

Heavy downpours triggered the flash floods, forcing more than 3,500 worldwide and domestic tourists to be evacuated from the tourist city of Petra in southern Jordan, according to Jumana Ghuneimat, Jordan's minister of state for media affairs and government spokeswoman.

At least nine people, including a young girl, were killed as flash floods engulfed multiple cities in Jordan on Friday, a government official said.

In a statement on Saturday, the army said that it provided shelter for more than 100 Syrian and Jordanian civilians in a military academy in the Maan governorate to protect them from the floods.

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Amateur video posted online showed a powerful torrent rushing through the steep, narrow canyon through which visitors reach the Treasury, the main attraction of Petra, an ancient trading hub carved from rose-colored rock.

Jordan has seen a series of deadly floods in recent weeks, including one in late October that swept away a school bus near the Dead Sea, killing 21 people, mostly schoolchildren.

A civil defence source told AFP that another child died in the Madaba area, also south of Amman, when the vehicle the child was in was submerged in water.

Downpours also triggered a state of emergency in the port city of Aqaba.

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Floodwaters in Petra and in some parts of the nearby Wadi Mussa desert had risen to nearly four metres high and innudated the main roads, Jordan's state television reported.

A major highway that links Amman with the south was also closed.

Jordan's state news agency Petra quoted government spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat as saying that evacuations will be carried out in coordination with the local councils of municipalities and provinces, directors of public works and public security, and the civil defense. The education and tourism ministers resigned after the incident.

She said more heavy rain was expected on Saturday and residents in affected areas were being urged to evacuate their homes.

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