Sun, Nov 11, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Flash floods kill seven in southern Jordan

AFP, AMMAN

Flash floods killed seven people in Jordan on Friday, the government and civil defense said, adding that five more people were missing.

The bad weather also saw over 3,700 tourists evacuated by authorities from Petra. The deaths come more than two weeks after Oct. 25 floods in the Dead Sea region of Jordan cost 21 lives, most of them children on a school trip.

The latest downpours hit the south of the kingdom, claiming seven lives, government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat said.

A civil defense source told reporters that five other people were missing.

“Heavy rainfall in the Dabaa region [south of Amman] prompted the closure of the desert highway [leading to the south of the country] in both directions after the area was flooded,” Ghneimat said, adding that two women and a child were among those killed in the floods.

The civil defense source said that another child died in the Madaba area, also south of Amman, when the car that the child was in was caught up in the surging waters.

“Rescuers are searching for five people who are missing in that area,” the source added.

Jordanian army troops deployed helicopters and armored vehicles to help search for the missing and assist residents threatened by the floods, state television reported.

Authorities evacuated 3,762 tourists from Petra, an archeological site and key tourist destination in southern Jordan, due to the bad weather, Ghneimat said.

State television said that flood water in Petra and in some areas of the nearby Wadi Mussa desert had risen 3m to 4m and flooded the main roads.

It broadcast footage showing people standing on both sides of the main road in Petra and along the desert highway trying to stay clear of the floods.

The Jordanian Ministry of Education ordered schools closed across the country today.

Ghneimat said that residents of the stricken areas and low-lying regions should evacuate their homes, adding that heavy rains were expected to continue to lash Jordan on Friday night and yesterday.

Last week, the Jordanian education and tourism ministers resigned after the deadly accident involving a school bus in the flood-hit Dead Sea region.

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