AMMAN – Ten people have died and hundreds, including many tourists, have been evacuated due to flash floods caused by torrential rains in Jordan over the past 24 hours, the government said on Saturday.
Most of the floods hit the south of the country, including the ancient city of Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, as well as the regions of Dabaa, Walih and Madaba, where a large number of tourists were rescued by the civil defense and the army, according to Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs, Jumana Ghunaimat.
The minister, quoted by the state news agency Petra, did not provide further details about the exact number of evacuees from those areas.
Ghunaimat said that schools and mosques were equipped to receive nearly 1,100 evacuees who have been rescued.
On Friday, the minister asked people living in low-lying areas and valleys to leave their homes, adding that all trips to tourist areas would be canceled on Saturday.
The floods have struck as the country reeled from torrential rains two weeks ago which killed 21 people, most of them children, when their bus was swept away by torrent near the Dead Sea, one of the lowest points on earth.
The Jordanian government admitted responsibility for that incident since the vehicle did not have permission to travel in that area, while the ministers of tourism, Lina Annab, and education, Azmi Mahafzah, resigned.