IANS

Jordan floods toll increases to 21

Amman, Oct 27 (IANS) The Jordanian Department of Civil Defence on Friday said the number of victims of the flash floods that have hit the Arab country had risen to 21 dead and 35 injured, with several people still missing.

Sources inside the civil defence department told Efe that three Iraqis were killed due to the flash floods that hit an area near the Dead Sea, in the west of Jordan on Thursday, including two children and a 20-year-old man, while the rest of the victims were Jordanians, Efe reported.

Most of the victims were children aged between 11-13 years who were on a school trip, riding in a bus that was washed away by the floods.

So far, it is not clear from reports whether all the fatalities counted were aboard the damaged school bus.

Authorities had said on Thursday that first responders had been able to rescue 10 of the students from the bus.

Torrential rains ended earlier on Friday and Jordan’s King Abdullah II presided over a National Policies Council meeting and ordered a comprehensive report on what happened, according to the Jordan state-run Petra news agency.

“What happened yesterday is a terrible catastrophe that we all were very saddened (by). May Almighty Allah rest the deceased souls in peace. I console the Jordanian people,” Petra cited the monarch as saying.

Jordan Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz and other officials visited the affected area on Thursday to oversee the rescue operations the civil defence department and the army have been carrying out.

–IANS
ahm/

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