Floods in Jordan, at least 11 dead

AMMAN. The death toll from the floods caused by the violent rains that struck the central and southern areas of Jordan and the archaeological site of Petra. According to official sources, so far 11 are dead and 22 wounded, while searches for missing persons continue. The government of Amman has announced that it has provided for the evacuation of about 4,000 people – including many tourists – who had been blocked by flooding.

Near Madaba, another of the most famous tourist destinations for its mosaics 30 km south-west from Amman, the car on which a Jordanian family was traveling was overwhelmed by flooding. THEPolice are continuing to look for two little sisters who have lost their father and sister and are missing.

On the social networks, meanwhile, many flood footage circulate in Petra. and also the Autostrada del Deserto, the most important artery in the country, was interrupted due to flooding. Similar phenomena, experts say, have not been seen in Jordan for decades. But a few weeks ago, a busload of students had been overwhelmed by heavy rains in the Zara Maeen area, near the Dead Sea. Twenty-one people had died in the accident.

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Yesterday, however, only the readiness of guides and souvenir sellers prevented the flood from causing a massacre. Screaming, they literally pushed the visitors out of the Siq, the long gorge that leads to the most famous monuments, and made them climb the paths that dominate the tomb of the Treasury. A race against time, before the water overwhelmed everything, turning the lower part of Petra into a tumultuous river. The waves have invaded every path, with unstoppable violence. Rescuers to thousands of tourists stranded on the peaks of Petra were nevertheless complex and many had to spend the night on the heights, sheltering in monumental tombs.

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Mario Calabresi
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