Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Jordan: Flash floods kill eleven and forced tourists to flee

Jordan: Flash floods kill eleven and forced tourists to flee

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

Two women and a girl died in severe floods in Dabaa, and another girl died in Madaba.

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

Flash floods caused by heavy rain across Jordan killed 11 people Friday and forced hundreds of tourists to seek higher ground in the kingdom's ancient city of Petra, government officials and official media said.

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

Civil defence divers searched for five people whose auto was swept away by floods in the Madaba area, southwest of the capital, state news agency Petra said.

The Jordanian army deployed helicopters and all-terrain vehicles to help with the search and rescue operation.

Authorities declared a state of emergency in the Red Sea port city of Aqaba, also in the country's south, as heavy downpours started there in the afternoon.

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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.

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

Jordanian authorities are asking residents in low-lying areas to evacuate their homes and take refuge in neighboring schools immediately.

The torrents came two weeks after 21 people, a lot of them children, were killed in flash floods near the Dead Sea.

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. Jordan's tourism and education ministers resigned after the incident.

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

Friday's floods came two weeks after 21 people, including middle school students, were killed in flash floods near the Dead Sea.

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