According to Middle East Eye, a flash flood on Thursday, October 25 took the lives of nearly two dozen people and injured many more.
Most of the dead and injured are middle school children, who were traveling on a school trip near the Dead Sea. Other victims were “families picnicking near the Zara Maeen hot springs.”
Officials have stated that they expect the death toll to increase by the time the search and rescue teams finish in the next few days. The floods “carried people for ‘four to five kilometers,'” which means that the teams, which include helicopters and dogs, must cover a lot of land before they can wrap up their search.
Families have been near the site of the flash flood, as well as a nearby hospital, searching for their missing children.
This is not the only case of extreme weather in the Middle East this month. While Jordan’s capital experiences flash floods and rain, their northern region experienced hail. Beirut and Qatar also experienced damaging rains and flooding, while Lebanon got slammed with hail, “which caused damage to parked cars, shop windows, and electric lines.”
#Jordan flash floods: Bus carrying students swept away near Dead Sea - BBC News tragic news about our precious young hopes for the future RIP and God give your families courage and peace and the survivors hope and health. https://t.co/kDyiwdQxIQ— Noor Al Hussein (@QueenNoor) October 25, 2018
However, regions in Africa have also been exposed to extreme, death-causing weather. Flash floods in Tunisia took lives last week, “including a six-year-old child who drowned in Sidi Bouzid.”
According to BBC, the area that was hit in Jordan yesterday was near the Dead Sea, which “is the lowest point on Earth.” This fact makes it a huge tourist attraction, but it also makes it a danger zone due to “its arid conditions and its deep canyons,” especially in times of heavy rain. This storm is the second one to affect the Dead Sea area this year.
Jordan’s King Abdullah decided to remain in Jordan to oversee the post-storm process, canceling his trip to Bahrain, which was scheduled to begin today, October 26.
Jordan’s government has requested the help of the Israeli military in the search and rescue mission. Israel “sent a number of helicopters with soldiers from an elite search-and-rescue unit.”
Officials stated that people were able to survive from clinging onto rocks, which is how the search and rescue teams were able to save about a dozen people. However, the prospects of finding more survivors are slim as the days following the storm continue on, which is why officials are projecting a higher death toll than the present 18.