Middle East – Deadly Flash Floods in Jordan and Kuwait

Further heavy rain in parts of the Middle East has caused flash flooding in Kuwait and Jordan, where at least 12 people have lost their lives.

Severe weather including record rainfall and flooding has affected parts of the Middle East since late October, 2018.


Heavy rains and subsequent flash flooding on 9 November left at least 12 people dead in central and southern areas of Jordan.

On 10 November, Minister of State for Media Affairs Jumana Ghunaimat said in a statement that the death toll of the flash floods has risen to 12 (seven in Madaba; 4 in the Dhab’a area of the Desert Highway (Jizah District, Amman Govenorate) and one in the southern governorate of Ma’an).

A total of 29 people were injured in the flash floods, including 8 Civil Defense and Public Security departments personnel. Emergency teams are are still searching for 14 missing people in Al-Jafr in Ma’an Governorate.

The floods also forced the evacuation of nearly 4,000 tourists from the ancient city of Petra, Ma’an Governorate, where floodwaters in some areas rose up to 4 metres according to state TV. Flash flooding also triggered a state of emergency in the port city of Aqaba.

The floods come just 2 weeks after 21 people died in flash floods in the Dead Sea region of the country.

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At least one person died in flash floods Kuwait after heavy rain that began on Friday 09 November, 2018. The equivalent of around 3 months’ of rain fell in one day.

Flooding also left several people injured and caused damage to roads, bridges and homes. Schools have been closed by the Education Ministry and the Health Ministry called a state of emergency. Images on Social Media showed cars dragged away by flood water racing through city streets.

Kuwait’s meteorological department said via Social Media that Kuwait Airport recorded 49.20mm of rain on 09 November. This is around the same amount normally seen for October, November and December combined.

Around 20 mm of rain fell in 2 hours during the late evening, which is the equivalent of around 1 month of rain. According to WMO, Kuwait Airport’s mean total rainfall for November is 18.90mm.

Kuwait, along with parts of Iran and Iraq, were affected by flooding last week after a period of heavy rain from 04 November.

Further warnings for heavy rain and thunder have been issued by Kuwait’s meteorological department.

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