Aden receives first flight after ‘blockade’

A Yemenia Airways Airbus A320 aircraft is pictured at the Sanaa Airport, in this file photo taken on March 28, 2015. (REUTERS)
Updated 15 November 2017
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Aden receives first flight after ‘blockade’

ADEN: Yemen’s national airline said on Tuesday a commercial flight had landed at Aden international airport after acquiring security permits.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi militia said last week it had closed all air, land and sea ports in Yemen to stem the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran. The move came after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired toward Riyadh, which it blamed on Tehran.
A Yemenia airlines official said a flight took off from Cairo and landed in Aden on Tuesday before returning to the Egyptian capital. He said the flights would increase gradually over the coming days.
In another development, Daesh claimed responsibility for a car bombing that security sources said killed 10 people, including civilians, at a security post in the government bastion of Aden on Tuesday.
The terrorist group claimed the attack in the southern port city via the encrypted messaging app Telegram, adding that a Yemeni suicide bomber had detonated the vehicle.
Aden’s security chief told AFP: “Eight members of the security forces and two civilians were killed in a car bombing in the central district of Abdul Aziz.”
“There are a large number of wounded, some of them in serious condition,” Brig. Shalal Shaya said, attributing the blast to a car bomb.


In Jordan’s ancient Petra, sirens warn of flash floods

Updated 30 min 54 sec ago
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In Jordan’s ancient Petra, sirens warn of flash floods

  • Earlier this month, sirens blared minutes before a torrent fed by heavy rains approached the UNESCO World Heritage site
  • The last fatal flash flood struck Petra in 1963 when 22 French tourists and a local guide were killed by rapidly rising waters

PETRA, Jordan: In ancient times, Arab tribesmen dug diversion tunnels to protect their low-lying trading post of Petra against desert flash floods. More than two millennia later, an alarm system warns visitors if flood water rushes toward what has become Jordan’s main tourist attraction.
Earlier this month, the alarms were activated for the first time, said Hussein Al-Hasanat of the Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority. Sirens blared minutes before a torrent fed by heavy rains approached the UNESCO World Heritage site carved into rose-hued rock face.
Hundreds of tourists were able to seek higher ground and were later evacuated, he said.
Amateur video posted online at the time showed visitors running through a steep, narrow canyon leading to the Treasury, Petra’s main draw, as guides urged them to hurry. Later, visitors were seen standing on a higher patch near the Treasury as knee-high water poured through the canyon.
Elsewhere in Jordan, such alarms are still missing. Thirty-four people were killed in flash floods in late September and early November.
The last fatal flash flood struck Petra in 1963 when 22 French tourists and a local guide were killed by rapidly rising waters. In response, Jordan’s Department of Antiquities built a dam to keep water from entering the canyon leading to the Treasury.
In 2014, the alarm system was installed as added protection, with sirens set to go off when flood water rises above four meters (yards).
On Nov. 9, the system was triggered for the first time, through a computer in the Petra Authority’s control room. The computer is connected to eight rain forecast systems and two water detection stations placed in the area, within 8 kilometers (5 miles) of Petra.
The network generates instant data allowing officials to measure possible danger and warn people by the time the water reaches Petra.
Omar Dajani, a meteorologist at the Arabia Weather company, said alarms should be installed in all vulnerable areas in Jordan.
He said urban sprawl has exacerbated the flood risk, which is particularly high in dry areas.
“Now towns have spread so much and many of them were not built with respect for the geography of the region, such as valleys for example, where the water has naturally caused floods for millions of years,” Dajani said.