Jordan desert roads reopen with warning of more downpours

Some people were stranded on flooded roads south of Amman over the past two days

People cross a flooded street during heavy rains in Amman, Jordan, February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
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Jordanian authorities cautioned drivers on Wednesday that the weather in the country would remain unstable after torrential rain hit desert areas south and east of Amman this week.

The body of one man was found in Madaba governorate after he was swept by rain water, state TV reported, in the first death related to the heavy rains. He has been missing since Tuesday.

The downpours cut off motorways and slowed down commercial transport.

State TV reported that several desert roads, which had become largely off-limits because of the rain, still had low visibility and water would accumulate rapidly on them if it rained again.

“The General Security Directorate renewed its warnings to take the utmost care during the currently unstable conditions and avoid valleys and flooded areas,” a state TV channel reported.

The Traffic Department said all roads in the kingdom are open “while there is low horizontal visibility” in some southern areas.

Poorly built roads and insufficient stormwater drainage systems resulted in flooding, leaving many drivers and passengers stranded over the last few days. No casualties were reported.

Local authorities in the southern governorates of Maan and Aqaba delayed school start times by two hours, for a third consecutive day, to ensure the safety of pupils.

Civil Defence crews evacuated 35 people who were stranded on flooded roads in the past two days. Most of them had been travelling on a bus, on the main motorway from Amman to Aqaba. Eight families living in tents in the city of Madaba, south of Amman, were also moved to dry land after their dwellings became surrounded by water.

The desert border crossing between Jordan and Iraq was temporarily closed on Tuesday after it was affected by water, reducing cargo and passenger flows between the two countries.

Updated: January 04, 2023, 12:29 PM