Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Jordan opens shelter as flash flood death toll climbs to 12

Jordan opens shelter as flash flood death toll climbs to 12

Flash floods killed 11 people in Jordan and forced almost 4,000 tourists to flee the famed ancient desert city of Petra, emergency services said on Saturday (Nov 10).

Flash floods killed at least seven people in Jordan on Friday, according to the government and civil defence agency, while at least five other people were reported missing.

Authorities said Friday search was ongoing for several missing persons in Madaba governorate.

The Jordanian army deployed helicopters and all-terrain vehicles to help with search and rescue operations after floodwaters cut off the Desert Highway in both directions.

A spokesman for the Civil Defense Iyad al-Amro, told Al Arabiya that members of the Civil Defense were searching for three other missing members of the surviving child's family.

The Madaba region, the Maan governorate and the ancient city of Petra were among the areas hit hardest by Friday's storms.

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Among those confirmed dead after torrential rains swept the south of the kingdom were six people found in the Madaba area southwest of the capital Amman.

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.

Videos posted on social media networks showed torrents of water gushing through the canyons, and local reports claimed the floods stirred a panic among tourists visiting the area.

Jordanian authorities asked residents of low-lying areas threatened by floods to evacuate and said that schools will serve as shelters for those who evacuated.

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.

He added that the floods in Petra are within their natural conditions and that the cadres of the Petra Commission are now working on counting tourists and evacuating them to their hotels, adding that the areas that have been exposed to the floods are: Wadi Musa and other areas, adding that the Desert Highway is open, under normal traffic conditions and with no reported accidents so far.

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