Flood in deserts as rains lash Jeddah


A special report from Jeddah by COT Azeez

Residents of Jeddah, the commercial capital of Saudi Arabia witnessed heavy rains on Tuesday. Rains ae lashing parts of the country  since Monday killing at least two people.

Two people were electrocuted in Faizaliya district when they touched a lamppost while crossing a water-logged road. 16 people were rescued by Civil Defense at Makkah.

Meteorologists said that 22 millimeters of rain were recorded in Jeddah. Roads were flooded with rainwater, causing traffic chaos and congestion all over the city and bringing back terrible memories of the 2009 floods that killed several people and destroyed properties.

In Jeddah, traffic police officers had to remove a large signboard that fell on a highway and disrupted traffic. An Egypt Air plane coming from Cairo was diverted to the recently opened airport in Madina after weather conditions made it highly risky for the plane to land in Jeddah.

The rainy weather is expected to remain until Wednesday. Schools and colleges in western and northern Saudi Arabia were closed on Tuesday.

In Yanbu, around 300 kilometres north of Jeddah, all schools remained closed on Tuesday following stern warnings about the weather. Three universities said they were suspending classes for the sake of the students’ safety.

Heavy rain of higher magnitude last hit the city in 2011, a year after the deadly floods that claimed the lives of over 120 people. The affected areas would be in the northern part of the country and along the coast, including Tabuk, Al-Qurayyat, Al-Jouf, the Northern Border area, Hail, Madinah, Makkah and the coastal areas from Haql to Rabigh, said Al-Ghamdi.

Other affected areas include Qunfudah, Riyadh, Al-Dawadmi, Afif, Qassim, and the Northern Borders Province, parts of the Eastern Province, and the southwestern mountains and coastal areas.  A cold wave is expected to hit the country over the next few days, resulting in a steep drop in temperature, rain and unstable weather conditions, said weather researcher Mohammed Al-Ghamdi.