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July 3 2022 12:17 PM ˚
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Officials step up flashflood warnings after unfortunate loss of life in Maan

WhatsApp Image 2022-01-11 at 11.18.10 PM
Civil Defense Department (CDD) teams checking on a site of a flash flood in Maan on Monday, January 10, 2022. (Photo: CDD)
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AMMAN — Since the unfortunate incident that took the life of a young man in Maan, whose vehicle was swept away by flash floods, experts renewed their calls on the government and on the individuals to be cautious around low-lying areas affected by flashfloods resulting from heavy rainfall. The flashfloods have recently become unpredictable due to climate change. اضافة اعلان

Head of Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD), Raed Rafed Al-Khattab, said to Jordan News that the JMD, as a routine process, identifies areas that are likely to be affected by flashfloods and issues a warning map of the locations and severity level. He also pointed out that the areas of the south and east, and specifically Maan governorate, were classified during the recent storm within medium warning areas; which required exceptional measures to face any potential threat to people’s lives and property.

Khattab clarified that the JMD issues the weather warnings in advance through JMD’s pages on social media and various other media platforms. “I personally believe that these warnings are even more important than the weather forecast, and I call on everyone to read them carefully and take them into consideration.”

Khattab ruled out that any entity is to blame for the unfortunate death as Jordan’s topography is conducive to flashfloods. “We have to just stay away from areas that are likely to be affected by flashfloods, and to be cautious,” he said.

Head of the Jordanian Geologists Association, Sakher Nsour, urged cooperation among government institutions to identify the hotspots that are prone to the occurrence of flashfloods and to develop a strategic plan to how to address the phenomenon.

He added that an early warning system should be put in places when flashfloods are likely to occur, in addition to placing the necessary signals to warn individuals.

Nsour suggested establishing a “crisis cell” that brings together representatives of different ministries to develop joint contingency systems to handle extreme weather conditions. “Severe weather conditions cannot be prevented, but losses can be mitigated,” he said, adding that climate change is a global long term development that people must learn to deal with. 

As a precautionary measure, Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) developed strategic plans to deal with the flashfloods in different places in Amman, according to GAM official spokesman Nasser Al-Rahamneh.

Rahamneh told Jordan News that GAM constructed drainage ducts in areas subject to flashfloods and has increased manholes and other infrastructures that mitigate the problem.

He also said that GAM specialized teams visit the shopping areas in and around Amman, especially downtown to warn them of any possible depression to take their necessary precautions.

Areas in southern Jordan, such as Ras Al-Naqab and Al-Marigha district in Maan governorate were most affected by heavy rain and flashfloods on Sunday evening.  Warnings were in place for those areas, even after the rainfall had stopped.

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