Jordan hit by new deadly floods

Floods kill 7 in Jordan and force tourists to flee Petra

But after being in contact with Jordanian authorities, a later update by a spokesman for the foreign ministry said that "all the Israelis in Jordan have contacted us".

A major highway that links Amman with the south was also closed.

The government spokeswoman said 3,762 tourists were evacuated.

Friday's downpour rolled across southern Jordan, claiming seven lives, including two children, government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat said on Friday.

Heavy downpours triggered the flash floods, forcing more than 3,500 worldwide and domestic tourists to be evacuated from the tourist city of Petra in southern Jordan, according to Jumana Ghuneimat, Jordan's minister of state for media affairs and government spokeswoman.

For his part, the Director of the Civil Defense of Ma'an Governorate, Salem Al Sarayrah, said that the weather conditions in Ma'an and Petra Governorates are very normal after the rains have stopped, pointing out that any emergency caused by rain storms is being dealt with.

Five people have already been confirmed dead in the area southwest of the capital Amman after torrential rains swept the south of the kingdom.

Designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1985, Petra draws hundreds of thousands of tourists a year to its rock-hewn treasury, temples and mausoleums.

In Petra, the ancient trade hub carved into rose-hued rocks, heavy rains began at around 1 p.m. Friday and last for about 40 minutes, said Rafael Dorado, 41, a tourist from Spain. Footage showed people on the city's main road trying to stay clear of the water.

The torrents came two weeks after 21 people, majority children, were killed in flash floods near the Dead Sea.

Jordanian authorities are asking residents in low-lying areas to evacuate their homes and take refuge in neighboring schools immediately. Politicians and members of the public criticised the emergency services at the time, saying crews had been unprepared, and two ministers were forced to resign after a parliamentary committee found negligence.

Two weeks ago, 21 people - mainly children - died after their bus was swept away during a school outing.

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