Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Floods in Jordan kill 11, force tourists to flee Petra

Floods in Jordan kill 11, force tourists to flee Petra

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

Flash floods caused by heavy rain across Jordan killed 11 people Friday and forced hundreds of tourists to seek higher ground in the kingdom's ancient city of Petra, government officials and official media said.

Two women and a girl died in severe floods in Dabaa, and another girl died in Madaba.

Civil defence divers searched for five people whose auto was swept away by floods in the Madaba area, southwest of the capital, state news agency Petra said.

The state news agency Petra initially quoted Ghuneimat as saying that four people were killed Friday.

Separately, Israel's public radio said contact had been lost with three Israeli tourists in southern Jordan. "All of them were found". The Jordanian military said that that it has sent soldiers and helicopters to assist in search operations.

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

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.

Its buildings have been used as sets for several Hollywood blockbusters including "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade".

Wadi Rum, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, has attracted generations of tourists with its spectacular sandstone and granite rock formations.

Its landscapes served as a backdrop in the filming of the Hollywood classic "Lawrence of Arabia".

The deaths come more than two weeks after October 25 floods in the Dead Sea region of Jordan cost 21 lives, majority children on a school trip.

Jordan has suffered weeks of heavy rain.

Jordan's education and tourism ministers resigned last week after the deadly school-bus accident in the flood-hit Dead Sea region.

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

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