3 killed after rains lash western region

November 21, 2017

Fatima Muhammad

Saudi Gazette

Jeddah — Three people died of electrocution after heavy downpour in Jeddah and other regions of the western province.

One person died of electrocution in Jeddah and three others in other places in Makkah region.

Jeddah Health Affairs received 29 emergency reports, eight of which related to electrocution. The rest were traffic accident cases.

The Civil Defense received 250 reports of short circuits, spokesman of the Civil Defense in Makkah Province Col. Saeed Al-Sarhan said.

The Saudi Red Crescent Authority in Madinah reported 17 cases of people slipping and falling near the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah and in the Central Area.

A total of 481 stranded people were rescued in Makkah, Madinah, Tabuk, and Al-Jouf. Ten families were evacuated and 41 vehicles were towed away.

In Taif, the municipality deployed 30 teams to deal with the hazards of rainfall and floods

Meanwhile, more rainfall is expected in Jeddah, Makkah and Taif, the General Authority of Meteorology & Environmental Protection announced on Tuesday.

Jeddah will witness more rain while heavy rainfall is expected in Makkah and Taif, the General Authority of Meteorology & Environmental Protection said on its Twitter account.

The western region witnessed heavy to moderate rainfall on Tuesday. The downpour in Jeddah lasted less than two hours.

But many people inadvertently and irresponsibly shared and forwarded on social media old photos and videos of 2009 and 2011 floods.

The General Authority for Meteorology and the Environmental Protection said that a drop in temperatures is expected on Wednesday accompanied by active winds that may cause low visibility over the regions of Tabuk, Al-Jouf, Northern Border, Hail and Al-Qassim.

The skies will be cloudy to partially cloudy and there are chances of thunder showers accompanied by active winds over the Eastern Province and Riyadh region, as well as the highlands of Al-Baha, Asir and Jazan, including their coastal areas.

Rain is expected to shift towards the southeast of Jeddah governorate and will extend to Makkah.

The inclement weather is expected to continue on the coastal areas of Makkah Province until Wednesday, he added.

Since Monday until Tuesday morning, the Control and Guidance Centers of the Civil Defense in the regions of Makkah, Madinah, Tabuk and Al-Jouf received 1989 reports.

Some schools in Jeddah announced holiday on Wednesday because of building and transport fleet maintenance.

Heavy downpour floods Jeddah streets

The early Tuesday morning rain flooded many streets in Jeddah and disrupted vehicular traffic.

The weather monitoring center of King Abdul Aziz International Airport was hit by lightning. Some equipment was damaged, but the center continued its work of sending and receiving weather reports.

Jeddah airport Head of Public Relations Turki Al-Deeb said that no flights were disrupted.

Only five flights were delayed because some passengers and crew could not make it to the airport on time, he said, adding that no flights were diverted.

Saudi Arabian Airlines announced that it will not impose any penalty or additional charges for passengers who missed flights due to the rain.

Heavy rains that lasted about two hours were almost double what was predicted by the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection.

“Our monitoring center at King Abdulaziz University recorded 56.9 mm rain on Tuesday morning,” said Prof. Mansour Al-Mazroui, director of weather and climate change research at the university.

On Monday, the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection predicted 20mm to 30mm rain.

The 911 helpline of the Ministry of Interior received 10,902 calls till 12:00 p.m. in Makkah region.

There was leakage inside Jeddah court.

Okaz Arabic newspaper received an authentic video clip showing water leakage from the ceiling. Court sessions were delayed because many people could not make it to the court on time.

Saher traffic cameras were temporarily turned off because of the road condition and traffic disruption.

Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah region, had been following up on the rain situation at the Crisis and Catastrophe Center since early Tuesday morning.

Jeddah Islamic Port resumed operations after a stoppage of about three hours due to weather conditions.

Three people, who got stuck in Al-Salam tunnel, were rescued by the Civil Defense. Four people were rescued in Rabi after getting stuck in Al-Abwa valley.

A number of main roads and tunnels in Jeddah were temporarily closed for safety reasons. The tunnels that were temporarily closed included one on Palestine Road and Prince Majed Street, Hira Street and Prince Majed Street, King Fahad Street and King Abdullah Road, Al-Salam and King Abdullah Road-Madinah Road intersection.

Jeddah municipality called on families not to go for picnics in valleys and dangerous low-lying areas.

Some 1,600 municipality workers worked in two shifts with 512 pieces of equipment in 14 different municipal areas and 11 centers. — With input from Irfan Mohammed

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