Floods kill 7 in Jordan and force tourists to flee Petra

Residents and relatives of flood victims gather outside a hospital near the Dead Sea in Jordan

She said more heavy rain was expected on Saturday and residents in affected areas were being urged to evacuate their homes.

Amateur video posted online showed a powerful torrent rushing through the steep, narrow canyon through which visitors reach the Treasury, the main attraction of Petra, an ancient trading hub carved from rose-colored rock.

In the Mlaih district of the Madaba governorate, where a young girl was killed when her family's auto 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.

The latest deaths come after October 25 flash floods in the Dead Sea region of the kingdom killed 21 people, a lot of them children on a school trip. There was a public outcry last month after 18 children on a school trip were swept away, leading to the resignation of the country's education and tourism ministers.

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"Our embassy in Tel Aviv contacted the Israeli foreign ministry for information on the identities of the missing Israelis", Ghneimat said in statements carried by the state news agency Petra.

Government spokeswoman Jumana Ghuneimat said at least two people remain missing, after Civil Defence units on Saturday said they rescued two and found the body of a third person in the Madaba region south of the capital of Amman, according to JNA. An 11-year-old girl was killed, another girl was seriously injured and divers were searching for three other members of the family.

In the Dabaa area, also south of Amman, two women and a girl were killed in the floods which also forced the closure of a desert highway. A large number of vehicles were left stranded as the highway flooded and traffic trapped those attempting to leave.

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.

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