One dead, hundreds rescued as floods hit Saudi Arabia's Asir region

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Citizens in Asir were urged to take precautions, and avoid going near valleys that could threaten their safety.
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Residents of Asir were warned on Tuesday to avoid straying near river banks due to the possibility of flashfloods during sudden downpours. (SPA)
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Residents of Asir were warned on Tuesday to avoid straying near river banks due to the possibility of flashfloods during sudden downpours. (SPA)
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Residents of Asir were warned on Tuesday to avoid straying near river banks due to the possibility of flashfloods during sudden downpours. (SPA)
Updated 15 February 2017

One dead, hundreds rescued as floods hit Saudi Arabia's Asir region

ABHA: Saudi authorities have reported the death of one person on Wednesday and the rescue of hundreds of others after severe flooding in Saudi Arabia's Asir region.

The Civil Defense said an individual had died and ten others injured as the agency rescued over 280 people while dealing with more than 900 emergency calls in the southern cities of Abha and Khamis Mushayt.

Flooding in the region caused road closures and the launch of warning sirens in Abha dam area.  

Civil Defense authorities said that rescue teams in Abha city saved several people whose cars were submerged in water. No injuries were reported. Many schools were closed following the severe rainstorms. 

Asir Gov. Prince Faisal bin Khalid has directed the Emergency and Civil Defense Committee to closely follow up efforts to alleviate the poor weather conditions in the region. 

Saad bin Abdullah Al-Thabet, spokesman of the governor’s office, said the governor is following up the efforts of government agencies. He also said warning sirens in the Abha Dam Valley are a precautionary measure when the dam has flooded. He said that it is a routine measure to preserve the safety of citizens and residents.

Al-Thabet urged citizens to take caution, and avoid going near valleys that could threaten their safety.

He also noted that the Emergency and Civil Defense Committee, headed by Undersecretary of the region Suleiman Al-Greish, has been following up the situation since the start of rain early on Tuesday. He added that the committee has also studied ways of activating the precautionary measures and how to alert citizens and residents, as well as finding urgent solutions to avoid hazards.

 


Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 August 2019

Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

  • The website of a cryptocurrency company is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal
  • The Singapore-based company uses the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree

JEDDAH: Fraudsters are trying to lure victims into investing in a “virtual currency” with false claims that it is linked to the Saudi riyal and will be used to finance key projects, the Saudi Ministry of Finance warned on Tuesday.

The website of a cryptocurrency company in Singapore is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal, using the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree. Its “ultimate goal” is to finance NEOM, the smart city and tourist destination being built in the north of the Kingdom, the company claims.

“Any use of the KSA name, national currency or national emblem by any entity for virtual or digital currencies marketing will be subject to legal action by the competent authorities in the Kingdom,” the ministry said on Tuesday.

The fraudsters were exploiting ignorance of how virtual currencies work, cryptocurrency expert Dr. Assad Rizq told Arab News.

“A lot of tricks can be played,” he said. “Some of these companies are not regulated, they have no assets, and even their prospectus is sometimes copied from other projects.

“They hype and pump their project so the price goes up. Inexpert investors, afraid of missing out, jump in, which spikes the price even higher. Then the owners sell up and make tons of money.

“Cryptocurrencies are a risky investment for two reasons. First, the sector is not yet fully regulated and a lot of projects use fake names and identities, such as countries’ names or flags, to manipulate investors.

“Second, you have to do your homework, learn about the technology. And if you still want to invest, consider your country’s rules and regulations.”