Jordan Flash Flooding Death Toll Klimt to 12

The number of deaths caused by the flooding in Jordan rose to 12 hours on Saturday and the main tourist attraction of the kingdom, the ancient city of Petra, was closed for clearance after what according to local authorities was the biggest flood in the area in decades.

The flooding of Friday hit several areas in Jordan. Rescuers continued the search for missing people around the Wala reservoir in the center of Jordan on Saturday. In the southern city of Maan the government opened a shelter for dozens of people whose houses were surrounded by water.

A total of 12 people were killed, including two children and a diver involved in rescue efforts, according to state media and Jordanian government spokeswoman Jumana Ghuneimat. Two of the bodies were found Saturday.

Separately, Israel's public radio said contact had been lost with three Israeli tourists in southern Jordan. The Arabic-language Makan radio said the tourists were last heard in the Wadi Rum area, another major tourist attraction.

The floods came two weeks after 21 people, most of them, were killed in the event of sudden flooding near the Dead Sea. The Ministers of Tourism and Education resigned from the flood in the Dead Sea.

In Petra, the old trading hub that was carved into rose-tinted rocks, heavy rains started around 13.00. Friday and last for about 40 minutes, said Rafael Dorado, 41, a tourist from Spain.

Around three o'clock in the afternoon a flood of water flowed through the steep and narrow access gap of the site, which flooded the area within minutes, he said. Delgado said he was observing from a hill temple in the area, but saw other visitors climb to higher ground. He said that some visitors were later evacuated by trucks and others walked out on foot.

Suleiman Farajat, the chief administrator in Petra, said that the site would remain closed on Saturday, but would probably reopen Sunday. He said that he has never seen so much intensity in the area.

"It really is, I would not say scary, but surprising how great the flood was," he said.

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