Photo Credit: Razvan Ciuca
1,700 Tourists Evacuated From Petra Amid Flash Floods
Southern Jordan has experienced violent rain, causing floods that prompted the evacuation of its famous World Wonder, Petra. According to Middle East Eye, more than 1,7000 tourists were packed into pick-up trucks and transported out of the area.
What we know:
Videos emerging online earlier this week showed water rushing down the cliff sides near the Treasury, causing the narrow valleys to turn into rivers. Amman Net reported that three people were injured after the rising waters caused a van to tip over.
The head of Jordan‘s meteorological department, Raed Khattab, said Southern Jordan was hit the hardest by the precipitation. The road running along the Dead Sea also experienced landslides and rocks falling onto the road as a result.
This is not the first time Petra has experienced severe floods. Twenty-two French tourists and their local guide were killed by floods at Petra in 1963.
After the deaths, authorities in Jordan constructed a dam to prevent water from entering the area surrounding the Treasury. An alarm system was added in 2014 to sound when waters rose to dangerous levels.
Despite this, 12 people were killed in floods at the UNESCO World Heritage site in 2018, just weeks after 21 people (most of whom were children, died on a school trip to the Dead Sea region.
In addition to Jordan, other areas of the Middle East have experienced flooding caused by the heavy rainfall. Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, and UAE were all affected by torrential downpours.
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