Jordan flash floods: Seven killed and tourists evacuated from Petra

10 November, 2018, 22:21 | Author: Myra Gill
  • The ancient city of Petra is popular with tourists

Jordan has seen a series of deadly floods in recent weeks, including one in late October that swept away a school bus near the Dead Sea, killing 21 people, mostly schoolchildren.

Another is a rescue team member on duty in Dabaa, around 50km south of Amman.

In an earlier statement, Ghunaimat said two women and a girl were killed in Madaba province when their vehicle was swept away, adding that nine people were admitted to hospital, including some in critical condition.

In the Mlaih district of the Madaba governorate, where a young girl was killed when her family's auto 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.

She said that searches for missing people are ongoing.

A rescuer was also among the dead, the civil defence spokesman said.

Severe floods on Friday hit Maan governorate, Wadi Mousa area, Petra, Madaba and other areas in Jordan following heavy rainfall across the Kingdom.


Authorities declared a state of emergency in the Red Sea port of Aqaba further south as downpours started on Friday (November 9) afternoon.

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

The government spokeswoman said 3,762 tourists were evacuated.

Designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1985, Petra draws hundreds of thousands of tourists a year to its rock-hewn treasury, temples and mausoleums.

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 minister of water and irrigation, Raed Abu al-Saoud, said on Saturday that the country's 14 main dams had filled up by some 26 percent of full capacity in the past 48 hours because of the torrential rains.

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

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