Flash floods in Jordan kill at least 7

Jordanian civil defense members near the Dead Sea conduct a rescue mission after rain storms unleashed flash floods in Jordan

Flash floods in Jordan have killed at least seven people and forced the evacuation of almost 4,000 tourists from the ancient city of Petra.

A civil defence source told AFP that five other people were missing.

Rescue teams and helicopters are searching for five people whose vehicle was swept away in Madaba, south-west of the capital, Amman.

Ongoing rainfall in the Daba'a region of southern Jordan also led to the closure of the desert highway in both directions, said Ghuneimat. An 11-year-old girl was killed, another girl was seriously injured and divers were searching for three other members of the family.

In a statement on Saturday, the army said that it provided shelter for more than 100 Syrian and Jordanian civilians in a military academy in the Maan governorate to protect them from the floods.

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.

Jordan's state news agency Petra quoted government spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat as saying that evacuations will be carried out in coordination with the local councils of municipalities and provinces, directors of public works and public security, and the civil defense.

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

Its buildings have been used as sets for several Hollywood blockbusters including "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade".

The latest deaths come after October 25 flash floods in the Dead Sea region of the kingdom killed 21 people, majority children on a school trip.

Jordan's education and tourism ministers resigned last week after the deadly school-bus accident in the flood-hit Dead Sea region.

Jordan's ministry of education announced that schools across the country would be closed on Sunday.

Jordan's minister of water and irrigation, Raed Abu al-Saoud, said on Saturday that the country's 14 main dams had filled up by some 26 percent of full capacity in the past 48 hours because of the torrential rains.

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