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Heavy weekend rainfall causes disruptions, damages across Kingdom

Thousands of tourists evacuated, dozens of families transferred and several roads flooded

By JT - Apr 28,2018 - Last updated at Apr 28,2018

Thousands of tourists were evacuated and dozens of families were transferred to safe places due to the unstable weather conditions (Photo by Jibril Masaadeh)

AMMAN — Thousands of tourists were evacuated, dozens of families were transferred to safe places and several roads were flooded over the weekend across the Kingdom due to the heavy rain that poured down in various areas of the country.

The Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) on Friday evacuated some 6,000 tourists from the archaeological site as a result of the unstable weather conditions, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

PDTRA Chief Commissioner Falah Omoush said that the new plan implemented by the authority's personnel is based on quick response, coordination with other stakeholders and a comprehensive system for information flow and control.

Omoush said that PDTRA, in cooperation with security agencies, provided 30 vehicles and three busses to deal with the weather conditions, where 1,800 tourists, out of 3,000, were evacuated on Wednesday.

He noted that Thursday witnessed the biggest number of tourists to Petra so far this year with 5,200 visitors who were transferred to safe places without any major incident.

Meanwhile, the Northern Badia Police Department, in cooperation with the Mafraq Civil Defence Department (CDD), on Friday evacuated dozens of families, mostly Syrian refugees, who live in random camps after rainwater flooded their tents, according to Petra.

Several neighbourhoods at the Jordan Valley witnessed heavy downpour that led to high levels of water on streets, which drainage pipes could not take in.

Deir Alla District Mayor Raed Azab said that district employees and security personnel responded to the situation, which resulted in no injuries, where relevant departments opened the pipes and pumped out water that accumulated in some low-altitude neighbourhoods, Petra reported. 

Southern Shouneh District Mayor Basem Mubaidin said that stakeholders took necessary procedures to save citizens and public properties, noting that the Dead Sea and Karameh roads were reopened after being flooded with high levels of rainwater.

Col. Khalil Abdallat, deputy director of the Northern Badia police department, said that authorities closed the Baghdad Road due to high water levels, noting that a police patrol was positioned at the site to offer advice to motorists.

Yarmouk Water Company Director Hassan Hazaimeh on Friday said that a water pipeline that supplies Houran villages has drifted away while Public Works Ministry personnel were trying to drain water that flooded several houses at Tourra town. 

Damages to the pipeline have caused interruption in water supplies to the villages since Thursday, Hazaimeh added.

Nasser Nabulsi, director of the Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna) in Madaba, said that water pumping from Waleh and Heidan wells that supply Madaba was halted due to water muddiness risks after the heavy rainfall. 

Nabulsi said that stopping water supply is a precautionary measure to allow company employees to take samples from the water and ensure its conformity to the standards, according to Petra.

On Saturday, the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) said that a slight increase in temperatures is expected on Sunday, where fair conditions will prevail in mountainous areas and badia, while the Jordan Valley and Aqaba are forecast to witness warm weather, according to a JMD statement.

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