Heavy rains, flooding kill 12 people in Jordan

The ancient city of Petra is popular with tourists

Friday's downpour rolled across southern Jordan, claiming seven lives, including two children, government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat said on Friday.

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

Heavy downpours triggered the flash floods, forcing more than 3,500 global and domestic tourists to be evacuated from the tourist city of Petra in southern Jordan, according to Jumana Ghuneimat, Jordan's minister of state for media affairs and government spokeswoman.

To the east, three people were killed near Dabaa on the Desert Highway, one of Jordan's three main north-south arteries, while one was killed near Maan in the south.

The Jordanian government also evacuated 90% of valleys inhabitants in the governorate of Mafraq and sent planes, boats, and soldiers to help in the search operations for missing residents.

The civil defence source said another child died in the Madaba area, also south of Amman, when the vehicle the child was in was caught up in waters.

In Petra, flood waters in some areas rose up to 4m (13ft), state TV reported.

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He added that the Petra Commission is working to evacuate tourists from inside Petra and transfer them to hotels according to the emergency plan, stressing that the operating rooms and the concerned authorities are following up on the situation.

It broadcast footage showing people standing on both sides of the main road in Petra and along the desert highway trying to stay clear of the floods.

Ghneimat urged residents of the stricken areas and low-lying regions to evacuate their homes, saying that heavy rains were expected to continue to lash Jordan Friday night and Saturday.

An excavator is partially submerged in a stream after rain storms unleashed flash floods, in Madaba city, near Amman, Jordan, November 10, 2018.

The torrents came two weeks after 21 people, majority children, were killed in flash floods near the Dead Sea.

Jordan's education and tourism ministers both resigned last week over failings in the government's response to those floods.

Politicians and members of the public criticised the emergency services for being unprepared and two ministers were forced to resign due to negligence.

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