Flash floods in Jordan kill 11

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 10, 2018 16:36 hrs

Amman, Nov 10 (IANS) At least 11 people have been killed in flash floods unleashed by heavy rain in Jordan and more than 3,700 tourists have been evacuated from the ancient city of Petra.

Floods struck several areas of Jordan on Friday, including Petra as well as the regions of Daba'a, Walih and Madaba, where a large number of tourists were rescued by the civil defence and the Army, said Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs Jumana Ghuneimat.

Ongoing rainfall in Daba'a led to the closure of the desert highway in both directions. A large number of vehicles were left stranded as the highway flooded and trapped those attempting to leave, CNN reported.

Rescue operations continued across Jordan on Saturday. So far, 60 people have been rescued and nine transferred to Al-Nadeem hospital in Madaba, Ghuneimat said.

Authorities also deployed a drone to search flooded areas for missing people and gauge the damage caused by the storm.

Ghuneimat urged the public to "exercise extreme caution and to deal with the weather conditions in a very serious manner".

She said the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority activated early warning systems by using speakers and mosques to warn about the weather conditions and the importance of moving away from flooding areas.

Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah directed authorities to focus on advancing efforts in rescuing those trapped by the floods.

The flooding came two weeks after 21 people -- most of them school children on a field trip -- lost their lives in flash floods.

The incident angered many Jordanians and led to the resignation of two government officials -- the Tourism Minister and the Education Minister.