Downpour forces schools’ closure

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Updated 29 April 2013
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Downpour forces schools’ closure

Rescue teams had their hands full on Saturday as heavy rains caused flooding in parts of the kingdom, stranding many people and forcing the suspension of classes in some areas.
Civil Defense authorities received at least 10,735 emergency calls from people affected by the bad weather as of Saturday afternoon, mostly about accidents, people getting stuck in water-clogged areas and vehicles getting trapped in inundated valleys and tunnels.
As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Education told schools in at least five governorates in Riyadh province as early as Friday not to open.
“The suspension’s decision was taken due to a continuation of rains in these provinces,” said a ministry statement carried by SPA.
Mohammed Al-Dakheeni, the ministry’s spokesman, said the governorates were Quwaiyiah, Dawadmi, Hota, Hariq and Kharj.
The ministry’s announcement, however, was issued at around 11:30 p.m. on Friday, which meant that many parents who went to bed early did not know about the decision until they turned up with their children at the school gates.
Some schools failed to pass on the information to parents and teachers even though they had received the ministry’s message.
The emergency calls from Riyadh topped the list, recording 2,200 SOS messages from 7 p.m. on Friday until yesterday evening. 
In Riyadh, there were eight accidents. Traffic department officials rescued two motorists trapped in their vehicles. Five people who suffered electric shocks, were reported recovering in the capital.
Meanwhile, heavy rains fell in the Hail region yesterday, stranding more than 50 vehicles at different locations. In the village of Murayfiq south of the region, Civil Defense teams and helicopters were deployed to rescue citizens. In addition, the Civil Defense in Hail registered around 700 incidents, including two people who were rescued from a dilapidated building.
Hail’s Education Department Committee for Emergencies held a meeting in the morning to discuss measures to be taken to deal with the current weather conditions.
Capt. Abdulraheem Al-Juhani, spokesman for Hail Civil Defense, quoted the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment as forecasting low and medium-level clouds that will likely continue to form and may include thunderclouds, accompanied by rain and strong winds in Hail and neighboring regions. He requested the public to listen to Civil Defense announcements, warnings and guidelines.
In Najran, there were 15 emergency calls from drivers trapped in their vehicles in the floods. They were later rescued. In addition, authorities provided shelter to 15 families affected by the rains.
Col. Abdullah Al-Harthy, Civil Defense media spokesman, said that there were no fatalities and that security forces were on high alert. 
Rains in the capital caused huge traffic snarls yesterday morning, as rain fell incessantly in the morning and intermittently in the afternoon. The public was able to take precautions due to the timely warning by government agencies. 
The Ministry of Education instructed all principals to close schools yesterday. 
The ministry’s announcement, however, was issued at around 11:30 p.m. on Friday, which meant that many parents who went to bed early did not know about the decision until they turned up with their children at the school gates.  
Some schools failed to pass on the information to parents and teachers even though they had received the ministry’s message early.
Seyed Hameed Moulana, who takes his grandchildren to school, said the Sri Lankan International School informed him of the weather conditions at 12.15 a.m. yesterday. However, he said the timely advice of the Riyadh Civil Defense Department helped motorists to take extra precaution in selecting safer routes to work and back. 
“Old and new industrial areas of the city were badly affected by the heavy rain. However, the advanced warning by authorities helped the public a great deal to be prepared for any eventualities,” Moulana added.


Disappointed fans hail improved performance by Saudi Green Falcons but defeat ends World Cup dream

Updated 21 June 2018
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Disappointed fans hail improved performance by Saudi Green Falcons but defeat ends World Cup dream

  • A fan named Yousif, who watched the match at the General Sports Authority viewing tent, was happy that the game at least was close this time.
  • Saudi Arabia will face off against Egypt, who also lost their opening two group A games against Uruguay and Russia, on June 25.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s World Cup dreams were shattered after Uruguay beat the Green Falcons 1-0 in the second of the three group-stage matches. Most Saudi fans in Jeddah were much happier with the team’s performance in game two, following the resounding 5-0 defeat by host nation Russia in the opening match on June 14, but still bitterly disappointed by the loss, which means they cannot qualify for the knockout stages.

Yousif, who watched the match at the General Sports Authority viewing tent, was happy that the game at least was close this time. “Although we lost, the performance was much better than the first game with Russia. I hope we win our next match,” he said.

Nasrah, who watched the game with her two sons, said: “I was really disappointed because we played good today and nothing less than a win should have been acceptable. I am also disappointed to see the looks on my boys faces when the game ended as they were hoping for a win.”

Khalid Al-Raghbi said at least it had been a good match to watch. “We played a bit better today,” he added. “I wish we would have won but at least we performed better than our last match against Russia.”

Before the game, Ibrahim Al-Turki had been optimistic about Saudi Arabia’s chances. “We didn’t expect today’s result. I was thinking that Saudi would win by two goals, and Uruguay would score one,” he said.

The result was especially disappointing given the close result and the number of chances the Saudis had to score, said Badr, who added: “I don’t know what to tell you because we are deeply disappointed. At least if we lost with a big defeat I would say we deserved it. We had the potential but we could not score.”

Shadi Al-Ghamdi said he wished the national team’s much improved performance in their second game had been more evident in their first. “I am very proud of the players, I thought they played very well. I just wish they had played like this against Russia," he said.

Safah was less complimentary and said that the Saudi players had let their fans down, adding: “They seemed scared whenever they attempted to score any goals.”

Saudi Arabia will face off against Egypt, who also lost their opening two group A games against Uruguay and Russia, on June 25. It will be the final game in the competition for both sides, with only pride to play for, as they battle it out to see who will finish third in the group and who will be left in bottom spot.