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Scenes of the evacuation and flood of Petra historic site. Source: Twitter Screenshot

Petra Historic World Heritage Site Blasted By Flash Floods

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In another case of nature’s wrath rearing its head, flash floods have struck the iconic world heritage site at Petra, Jordan, forcing the evacuation of 1,700 tourists. A whopping 66 millimeters of precipitation (0.21 feet) struck the site on Tuesday morning, with footage emerging of water washing into the entrance of Petra’s rock temple, and a bus tipping over due to the torrential rainwater.

Under Seige: Wrath of Nature

The SOS and evacuation was sounded and led by local officials and the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA). The rainfall, emanating in the southern part of the country, aided by the surrounding mountains, cascaded down into the rose-colored city, caused widespread floods, reports Al-Monitor.

The aforementioned bus was en route the Al-Hussein Bin Talal University, with 3 people injured in the accident, according to the primary emergency operations center in the city. Several videos emerged of the ancient rock-cut Nabatean temple, dubbed ‘the Treasury’, with water flooding down its sides.

It is one of the most visible fronts of the sprawling 260 kilometer square site that is located 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of Ma’an. These clips show bewildered and panicky looking tourists packed into pick-up trucks from the site’s narrow passages, including the Siq, which resemble rivers.

Petra: ‘Rose City’ With a Rich History

Petra, renowned for its intricate rock-cut architecture is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, and no stranger to floods, reports The Greek Reporter. These floods have historically shaped the site’s history and landscape over the centuries.

Petra, also known as the ‘Rose City’ for its red stone, has been standing for 2,000 years, carved by the Arab Bedouin tribe the Nabateans, in the 2nd century AD. They directly worked into the pink-red sandstone cliff, and includes burial chambers, which caused it to be elevated to the status of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

It was a thriving trading center, amassing wealth for the tribe, inviting the attention of neighboring empires. The natural landscape and the terrain provided a cover from attacks, but it finally succumbed to the Roman Empire, and then the Byzantines, who would control the region till they faced defeat at the hands of the Islamic caliphates. The city was abandoned and rediscovered in the 1800s by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.

Every year, Jordan attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists to experience its rich cultural heritage and material history of temples and mausoleums, with a great footfall reported this year due to the two-year COVID enforced absence.

Rain, Rain, Everywhere: From Jordan to UAE

The warning bugle had been sounded by Raed Khattab, the director of the Jordan Meteorological Department. He further indicated that the southern governates are likely to get the greatest amount of precipitation. On the weekend, landslides and rockfall on the road running along the Dead Sea had also struck the countryside.

In fact, it was just in 2014 that an alarm system and a dam had been installed in the area by the Jordan’s Department of Antiquities to warn against flooding and organize a better flood mechanism system for the safety of all those concerned. The dam was especially built to keep water out of the nearby area of the treasury, reports The Middle East Eye.

In 2018, it was unable to help prevent flooding in the same location as now, which resulted in the unfortunate death of 13 people, and the evacuation of 4,000 people. In 1963, 22 French tourists and their Jordanian tour guide had died as a result of sudden flash floods.

The Western Asia and Arabian Peninsula area, known to the west as the Middle East, has been hit by untimely floods all around. Flash floods hit Saudi Arabia’s Mecca on Friday, a vital pilgrimage site for Muslims all across the world. The torrential rain that happened overnight damaged vehicles and properties in the holy city. Rain hit Baghdad and other areas in Iraq on Saturday, with municipal workers seen pumping water from the streets of the capital. Even parts of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were flooded, including Gaza and Egypt’s Alexandria.

Top image: Scenes of the evacuation and flood of Petra historic site. Source: Twitter Screenshot

By Sahir Pandey

References

Kassis, M. 2022. Flash floods force evacuations from Jordan's iconic Petra. Available at: https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/12/flash-floods-force-evacuations-jordans-iconic-petra.

MEE. 2022. Jordan: Petra flash floods trigger evacuation of 1,700 people. Available at:  https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/jordan-petra-flash-floods-evacuated.

Moeed, A. 2022. Ancient City of Petra Flooded as Heavy Rainfall Lashes Jordan. Available at: https://greekreporter.com/2022/12/28/ancient-city-petra-flood-heavy-rainfall-jordan/.

 

Comments

Flash floods have decimated that place since antiquity.  What needs to be said – and stop saying everything is Nabataean … is that the fleeing Christians of 69/70 CE from the Roman invasion and conquest of Judah-II … lived there in that location that has over 4,000 rain water cisterns and can house 40,000 people (and more) was lived in from (69/70-570/600 CE).  In later times of the Crusades and Templars, it was taken and rebuilt and fortified with even more cisterns, infrastructure as seen, and occupied in the (1100s-1307) period.  So people saying people of the pre-Masada (70 CE) days did everything there is bogus and deliberately misleading for historians and truth seekers.  If any area of a Templar treasury was around, it would have been put in this southern defendable Petra location, which is not Petra, but Pen Dragon … i.e. the period of Welsh Uther Pendragon and (King) Arthur Pendragon realm (being the “Khem” ancient Egyptian Nile Delta and the Israeli Eilat/Jordanian Aqaba Red Sea area of Camelot.

The real histories of Pendragon deal with the 1st dynasty (reich) here at Petra, leading into Camelot, … and the later Crusades (1100s-1300).

Pete Wagner is delusional. A sad, sad Space Cadet.

Pete Wagner's picture

It seems the Alantean-era ancient Greeks, the actual builders of the place, had a preference for red stone.  Red stone was also mentioned in Plato’s description of Atlantis.  They would certainly have selected their quarry sites based on the most sought-after characteristics in the various stone.  It was clearly a very cool thing they were doing, before their civilization was rendered ruins, circa 115k BC, adding the zero back to Plato’s timeline. 

No people since have produced anything comparable.  The Sumerian texts talk about making and laying mud bricks, and you can still see some remnants of that overtop of the more durable stone ruins, that they took over and called their own.  But what the Sumerians and their descendents did best, was take over places where the fair-haired ancient Greeks were trying to make come-back, and supplant them.  Look at Greece and all around the med now, mostly black-headed (black haired) people.  There probably weren't any black headed prior to the Sumerians/Semites, who called themselves 'the black-headed people'.  

Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

IronicLyricist's picture

Tbh if this had happened at anywhere BUT petra it wouldnt even be news and i see a hint of globalist agenda bias in the wording..

infinitesimal waveparticles comprise what we call home the earth
manipulatable by thought ability supressed in humans since birth

IronicLyricist's picture

A lil over 2 inches huh? Thats deceptive reporting of the WORST kind, like adjusting the ticks on a graph to show greater or lesser slope.. im actually assuming thats a lot for the area in the rainy season i just pike to point out they used millimeters then fraction of a foot? Just say 2.54 inches

infinitesimal waveparticles comprise what we call home the earth
manipulatable by thought ability supressed in humans since birth

Sahir's picture

Sahir

I am a graduate of History from the University of Delhi, and a graduate of Law, from Jindal University, Sonepat. During my study of history, I developed a great interest in post-colonial studies, with a focus on Latin America. I... Read More

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