MAKKAH — Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, has approved a contingency plan prepared by Civil Defense to deal with any emergency in Makkah and Madinah during Ramadan, said a top official.
Lt. Gen. Sulaiman Bin Abdullah Al-Amr, director general of the Civil Defense, said preventive measures will also be taken to ward off any threats to the safety of pilgrims, visitors and others in the holy cities.
“The Crown Prince has made it clear that the safety of pilgrims in Makkah and Madinah is paramount.
“The Crown Prince ordered the Civil Defense to take all precautions necessary to ensure the safety of pilgrims. Pilgrims come from all over the world to perform a religious duty, therefore they should feel safe and secure and focus on their spirituality,” said Al-Amr.
He also said the Civil Defense submitted a comprehensive plan and he is grateful for the Crown Prince’s support and encouragement.
“With Umrah and Haj seasons, the Two Holy Mosques become extremely crowded. It is the duty and responsibility of the Civil Defense to ensure the safety and security of pilgrims and to ensure that the directorate takes all necessary precautions to aid and protect pilgrims,” said Al-Amr.
He added the plan involves 19 other directorates and authorities.
“The Civil Defense emergency plan is a comprehensive one involving 19 authorities and directorates.
“Each of the 19 directorates has a representative in the Civil Defense control room. The Civil Defense will be ready for emergency rescue operations, medical aid, evacuation, sheltering and others,” said Al-Amr.
“The plan has three phases. The first phase is prevention. In this phase, the Civil Defense takes all precautions necessary to anticipate any potential danger or threat on pilgrims and prevent it. The first phase took started at the beginning of this month. The Civil Defense ran more than 1,210 inspection campaigns under a preventive scanning plan,” said AL-Amr.
He added the campaigns recorded 197 violations.
“The second phase focuses on field preparation. The Civil Defense has officers spread out in critical areas and they are equipped with the tools necessary to deal with any emergency through various strategies such as evacuation,” said Al-Amr.
He added the third phase focuses on raising awareness among pilgrims of the importance of safety measures.
“The Civil Defense offers a number of educational workshops and lectures on safety in the Two Holy Mosques. The Civil Defense is also active through social media to ensure its message reaches a wide layer of people,” said Al-Amr.