Floods kill 7 in Jordan, visitors seek high ground in ancient Petra

Floods kill 7 in Jordan and force tourists to flee Petra

Jordan flash floods: Seven killed and tourists evacuated from Petra

Two women and two young girls are believed to be among those killed on Friday.

Ghunaimat says several people are missing and that searches are continuing.

Heavy downpours triggered the flash floods, forcing more than 3,500 worldwide 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. The Jordanian military said that that it has sent soldiers and helicopters to assist in search operations.

Five people have already been confirmed dead in the area southwest of the capital Amman after torrential rains swept the south of the kingdom.

Ma'an Governor, Ahmad Al Amoush, told Jordan News Agency (Petra) that the floods raided a number of areas after heavy rainfall, and added that some roads have raided by floods.

Authorities declared a state of emergency in the Red Sea port city of Aqaba, also in the country's south, as heavy downpours started there in the afternoon.

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Police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP that "more than 10 people died, a lot of them civilians and some security guards". Parliament speaker Mohamed Mursal said the attackers deliberately targeted civilians.

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

The deaths come more than two weeks after October 25 floods in the Dead Sea region of Jordan cost 21 lives, a lot of them children on a school trip.

The authorities said on Saturday they had evacuated hundreds of families living in makeshift tents in outlying rural and desert areas and scattered settlements in villages in the southern parts of the country that were hardest hit.

Authorities evacuated 3,762 tourists from the ancient city of Petra, an archeological site and key tourist destination in southern Jordan, amid the bad weather, Ghneimat said.

It broadcast footage of tourists sheltering on high ground on both sides of the access road to Jordan's biggest attraction. Politicians and members of the public criticised the emergency services at the time, saying crews had been unprepared, and two ministers were forced to resign after a parliamentary committee found negligence.

Friday's floods came two weeks after 21 people, including middle school students, were killed in flash floods near the Dead Sea.

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