Heavy rains and floods have killed at least 12 people in Jordan and forced the authorities to evacuate more than…
Heavy rains and floods have killed at least 12 people in Jordan and forced the authorities to evacuate more than 3,500 tourists from the ancient city of Petra and other popular destinations.
Visitors were taken to safe areas before floods flooded flooded parts of the mountainous city that is famous for its rocky mountain ruins, said government spokesman Jumana Ghunaimat on Saturday.
The site was closed after the flood, but was likely to resume on Sunday, said Suleiman Farajat, City Manager, adding that he had never seen such an intense flood in the area.
In a previous investigation Ghunaimat said that two women and one girl were killed in Madaba Province when their vehicles dropped and allowed nine people to be hospitalized, with some in critical condition.
Torrenta rains and floods in the region began on Friday afternoon. In Wadi Musa, the town next to Petra in southern Jordan, water rose from nearby mountains to a dry riverbed that went through the community.
Ahmed Shamaseen, 29, owner of the Petra Harmony Pension, told the press office Associated Press heard a dizzy sound, ran out and saw water carrying tree trunks, rocks and debris. He said that several stores near Petra’s visitors were injured.
Shamaseen said a couple from the Netherlands and their one-year-old children toured Petra when the flood began. He said that the couple told him after returning to the guesthouse that they had to climb to higher soils to avoid the water.
|A local official said he had never seen such intense flooding in the area [Petra News Agency via EPA]|
The authorities declared an emergency in the Red Sea port of Aqaba further south as the falls began. They said that hundreds of families living in temporary tents in remote rural areas and desert areas were the worst beaten.
The evacuates included the Syrian refugees’ families who work as shepherds and peasants, officials said.
Jordanian floods: Schoolchildren among 21 deaths
A major highway connecting the capital Amman to the south was closed. The government announced the closure of universities and schools, and mosques were opened for the protection of civilians in areas affected by floods.
In mid-October 21 people, mainly children, died after being taken into floods on a school excursion in the Dead Sea area in one of the country’s worst natural disasters for decades.
Politicians and the public criticized the emergency service at the time saying that crews were unprepared and force two Jordanian ministers to resign.