Jordan: Heavy rains and floods kill 12 people

An excavator is partially submerged in a creek as civil defense members search for missing persons after rainstorms in the city of Madaba, near Amman, Jordan on November 10, 2018. REUTERS / Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN (Reuters) – Twelve people died as a result of heavy rains and floods in parts of Jordan on Friday and authorities evacuated foreign tourists from the ancient city of Petra and others. Popular destinations, announced Saturday officials.

The country has recently been hit by flash floods and heavy showers. In the worst incident, 21 people – mostly schoolchildren during a trip to the Dead Sea – were killed as torrential rains poured into valleys and deep ravines.

More than 3,500 visitors were taken to safe areas on Friday before the sudden floods flooded parts of the southern Petra mountainous city, famous for its carved rocky ruins, the government spokeswoman said. Jumana Ghunaimat.

Authorities banned all tourist trips and declared emergency status in the port city of Aqaba, south of the Red Sea, while the showers continued for a few hours before settling down overnight.

Authorities said Saturday they evacuated hundreds of families living in makeshift tents in remote rural and desert areas and in villages scattered in villages in the south of the country hardest hit.

Among them were Syrian refugee families working as shepherds and farmers, officials said.

Report by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Edited by Hugh Lawson

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