Ancient city of Petra closed, death toll rises to 12 as clean-up begins in Jordan after floods

The death toll from flash floods in Jordan rose to 12 on Saturday and the kingdom's main tourist attraction, the ancient city of Petra, was closed for cleanup after what local officials said was the biggest deluge in the area in decades.

Friday's floods struck several areas of Jordan. Rescuers continued the search for missing people around the Wala reservoir in central Jordan on Saturday.

Spanish tourist Rafael Delgado described the moment the torrent of water struck at Petra and flooded the area "in three or four minutes".

Dr Suleiman Farajat, Chief Commissioner of the Petra Authority, said the city itself had fortunately not suffered that much damage.

In all, 12 people were killed by the flooding, including two children and a diver who had been involved in rescue efforts, a Jordanian government spokeswoman said.

Tourists were evacuated from the area due to heavy rain. Source: Associated Press