IDF Sends Troops to Help Jordan with Rescue Efforts after Deadly Flood


At least 18 people have been killed after flash floods swept away a group of teachers and students visiting hot springs near the Dead Sea.

The five-star hotels located at the northern tip of the Dead Sea close to Amman and at high vantage points, were unaffected by Thursday's floods and are expected to operate as normal.

Chairing a National Policies Council (NPC) meeting at Al Husseiniya Palace to follow up on the flash floods in the Dead Sea area, which claimed the lives of school students and other citizens, King Abdullah expressed deepest condolences to the victims' families and to all Jordanians.

A security source said rescuers were still searching for eight people missing in the Dead Sea area, a popular tourist attraction around 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Amman.

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The storm system that triggered the heavy rainfall and flooding will depart the region on Friday, with dry weather in store for continued cleanup and rescue operations this weekend.

At least 35 people were injured and a nearby bridge also collapsed, according to local media reports.

"We are especially able to sympathize with the Jordanian families because we also experienced a similar tragedy last April, when 10 students perished following torrential rains that caused flash floods during their trip in the desert", Maj.

It's not yet known how old the students are, or how many chaperones were among the victims.

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"In light of a request from the Jordanian government, a number of air force helicopters with 669 soldiers, led by the commander of the unit, were dispatched", an IDF statement read. The specialists later returned to Israel, though they remained on alert.

"Currently assisting Jordan in rescuing a bus full of children swept away in a flood on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea", it wrote on Twitter.

Jordan's King Abdullah II canceled a planned working visit to Bahrain, initially scheduled for Friday.

Relatives gather outside a hospital near the Dead Sea, Jordan.

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