Home World Floods in Jordan kill 12, forcing tourists to flee Petra

Floods in Jordan kill 12, forcing tourists to flee Petra

Floods killed 12 people in Jordan, forcing nearly 4,000 tourists to flee the famous ancient desert city of Petra, emergency services said on Saturday.

Search teams searched valleys near the historic hill town of Madaba for a young girl who was missing after Friday's flood, civilian spokesman Iyad Amru told state television.

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

In the east, three people were killed near Dabaa on the Desert Highway, one of the three main north-south arteries of Jordan, while one was killed near Maan in the south.

It was not immediately clear where the other two died.

Amru said two girls disappeared in the Madaba area and announced that one of their bodies had been found.

Government spokesperson Jumana Ghneimat said the authorities had found four Israeli tourists alive who had been missing in the Wadi Rum desert in southern Jordan but were looking for two more.

"Our embassy in Tel Aviv has contacted the Israeli Foreign Ministry to obtain information about the identity of the missing Israelis," Ghneimat said in statements by state news agency Petra.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed that contact with two Israeli tourists in Wadi Rum had been lost.

– tourists evacuated –

The Jordanian Army used helicopters and ATVs to help with search and rescue operations after the Desert Highway was cut off from floodwaters in both directions.

A rescuer had been among the dead, said the civil defense spokesman.

State television stated that the water was up to four meters high in parts of the red rock city of Petra and the adjacent Wadi Musa desert.

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

The government spokeswoman said that 3,762 tourists were evacuated.

Petra was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to the stone treasury, temples and mausoleums.

His buildings were used as sets for several Hollywood blockbusters such as Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

Wadi Rum, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracts generations of tourists with its spectacular sandstone and granite cliffs.

His moon-like landscapes served as backdrop for the filming of the Hollywood classic Lawrence of Arabia.

The most recent deaths occurred after the flash floods on October 25 in the Dead Sea region of the kingdom, which killed 21 people, most of them on a school trip.

Jordan's ministers of education and tourism both resigned last week due to the government's lack of response to these floods.

The Ministry of Education ordered schools on Saturday, warned of heavy rains.

Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation, Abu al-Saoud, said on Saturday that the country's 14 main dams were filled by 26 percent of full capacity in the last 48 hours due to heavy rains.

Jordan is a water-poor country that is 90 percent desert.

Jordan Rescuers Search for Missiles on November 10, 2018 after flash floods in the city of Madaba near the capital, Amman

A picture taken on 10 November 2018 shows a car that has sunk in the mud after flash floods in the city of Madaba near the capital Amman

Almost 4,000 tourists fled from Jordan's famous desert town of Petra when 12 people died in the southwestern part of the kingdom

A handout image published by the official Jordanian news agency PETRA on November 10, 2018, shows residents of the southern Jordanian city of Maan investigating damage caused by floods that killed 12 people in the country


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