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Jordan opens shelter as flash flood death toll climbs to 11

11 November 2018

Those killed in the floods include two women and a girl who died in severe floods in Dabaa area in Al Jiza district, Minister of State for Media Affairs Jumana Ghunaimat said in a statement obtained by The Jordan Times Friday.

A parliamentary committee formed to investigate the 25 October incident found that some Jordanian ministries were negligent and has prompted questions over how prepared government agencies are to handle such emergencies. At least nine others have been wounded.

"Rescuers are searching for five people who are missing in that area", the source said.

In the Mlaih district of the Madaba governorate, where a young girl was killed when her family's vehicle was swept away by flood waters, rescue teams and divers were on the scene searching for other missing people, Jordan's official Petra news agency reported.

Citizens in Jordan and across the country have been warned to stay away from valleys and low areas and to remain indoors in case of heavy rain, and to only leave their homes if they really need to.

The Madaba region, the Maan governorate and the ancient city of Petra were among the areas hit hardest by Friday's storms.

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Hundreds of Petra visitors ran for higher ground Friday as water surged through a narrow canyon leading to the Treasury, Petra's main attraction.

The bad weekend weather also saw over 3,700 tourists evacuated by the authorities from the world famous historic site of Petra.

Ongoing rainfall in the Daba'a region of southern Jordan also led to the closure of the desert highway in both directions, said Ghuneimat.

Authorities declared a state of emergency in the Red Sea port city of Aqaba further south as downpours started in the afternoon.

More rain is expected on Friday night and Saturday, and schools have been opened to evacuees and those affected by the floods.

Spanish tourist Rafael Delgado described the moment the torrent of water struck at Petra and flooded the area "in three or four minutes".

Jordan opens shelter as flash flood death toll climbs to 11