Jordan: 12 dead in bad weather and tourists evacuated from Petra

Twelve people died in bad weather in Jordan and about 4,000 tourists were evacuated from the ancient site of Petra two weeks after the floods that caused 21 deaths.

"The balance of bad weather has risen to twelve deaths, including a rescuer," said Saturday Iyad Amrou, spokesman for the Civil Protection. The day before, the authorities had a balance of seven deaths.

Rescuers are still looking for a missing Jordanian girl in the valley area near the city of Madaba, southwest of Amman, he said.

Among the victims, six people died in Madaba, three in Dabaa, south of the capital, and a girl in Maan, in the south of the country. The exact position of the deaths of the other two victims was not immediately revealed.

Mr. Amrou had initially reported that two girls were missing in the Madaba area, before confirming that the rescuers had found the body of one of them.

Four Israeli tourists who disappeared in the Wadi Rum desert were found alive, but authorities are still looking for two more Israelis, government spokesman Joumana Ghneimat said in a statement issued by the official Petra agency.

A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry initially confirmed the loss of contacts with two of its citizens, before saying: "All Israelis in Jordan have contacted us, all have been found".

– evacuated tourists –

Helicopters and armored vehicles have been deployed to rescue people trapped in the water and look for missing persons, according to Jordanian television.

According to the images broadcast on state television, the water has risen from three to four meters in some areas of the Petra region and in the Wadi Musa desert. The images also show tourists taking refuge on high ground on the access road to the Petra site.

The authorities said they had evacuated 3,762 tourists of different nationalities from the ancient city of Petra and called residents near water courses, bridges and tunnels to evacuate their homes in anticipation of further rainfall.

Listed in 1985 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Petra attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year to visit one of the world's richest archaeological sites with its temples and tombs built into the rock.

The ancient city was used as a backdrop in many Hollywood films such as "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade".

Wadi Rum, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracts many tourists to see canyons, natural arches, cliffs and caves.

This desert and lunar landscape was the backdrop for the film "Lawrence of Arabia", a Hollywood classic.

On October 26, 21 people were killed due to torrential rains in western Jordan. Most of the victims were teenagers aged 11 to 14 who were on a trip to the Dead Sea region.

A few days later, the Education and Tourism ministers had resigned.

Jordan's water minister, Raed Abu Saud, said the country's 14 main dams have filled up to 26% of their capacity in the last 48 hours due to torrential rains.

Jordan is a country poor in water and 90% of its territory consists of deserts.

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