Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Floods kill 7 in Jordan, visitors seek high ground in ancient Petra

Floods kill 7 in Jordan, visitors seek high ground in ancient Petra

In the Mlaih district of the Madaba governorate, where a young girl was killed when her family's vehicle was swept away by flood waters, rescue teams and divers were on the scene searching for other missing people, Jordan's official Petra news agency reported.

Flash floods in Jordan have killed at least seven people and forced the evacuation of almost 4,000 tourists from the ancient city of Petra.

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

Five people have already been confirmed dead in the area southwest of the capital Amman after torrential rains swept the south of the kingdom. Rescuers continued the search for missing people around the Wala reservoir in central Jordan on Saturday.

Elsewhere, rising water levels forced the closure of a desert highway.

The Jordanian government also evacuated 90% of valleys inhabitants in the governorate of Mafraq and sent planes, boats, and soldiers to help in the search operations for missing residents.

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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.

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 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. Footage showed people on the city's main road trying to stay clear of the water.

Ghneimat urged residents of the stricken areas and low-lying regions to evacuate their homes, saying that heavy rains were expected to continue to lash Jordan Friday night and Saturday. Jordan's tourism and education ministers resigned after the incident.

Separately, Israel's public radio said contact had been lost with three Israeli tourists in southern Jordan.

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

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