Heavy rains, flooding kill 12 people in Jordan

Nellie Chapman
November 10, 2018

Government spokeswoman Jumana Ghuneimat said two dozen people were injured and dozens more evacuated as homes were flooded in several locations.

Flash floods in Jordan have killed at least 11 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.

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. Rescuers continued the search for missing people around the Wala reservoir in central Jordan on Saturday.

For his part, the Director of the Civil Defense of Ma'an Governorate, Salem Al Sarayrah, said that the weather conditions in Ma'an and Petra Governorates are very normal after the rains have stopped, pointing out that any emergency caused by rain storms is being dealt with.

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.

Rescue teams and helicopters are searching for five people whose auto was swept away in Madaba, south-west of the capital, Amman.

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In the worst incident, 21 people - mostly school children on an outing to the Dead Sea - were killed as torrential rains poured through valleys and deep ravines.

In Wadi Musa, the town next to Petra in southern Jordan, water surged from nearby mountains into a dry riverbed running through the community.

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

Jordan's education and tourism ministers both resigned last week over failings in the government's response to those floods.

Jordan's ministry of education also ordered schools closed across the country on Sunday.

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