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Saudi Arabia

Rain brings pain back to Jeddah

Volunteers try to remove a car from a flooded street in Jeddah after Tuesday’s downpour. (AN photo by Salman Marzouki)
JEDDAH: Civil Defense forces rescued 400 people in Makkah region who were trapped due to rainfall, and responded to 250 reports of electrocution, said Makkah Civil Defense spokesman Col. Saeed Sarhan. Two of those electrocuted died, and three are in stable condition.
The Disaster Management Center in Makkah announced the continuation of rainfall in the region, extending to the city of Al-Leith, and warned people against being in valleys.
Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal has been monitoring the situation at the center along with the deputy governor of Makkah for security affairs, and representatives of all relevant authorities.
Meanwhile, Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Mojeb on Tuesday issued directives to the head of the Public Prosecution Branch in Makkah region and head of the Department of Jeddah province and all branches and departments in all parts of the Kingdom that the Public Prosecution should be fully ready to proceed with all matters related to any cases associated with the recent flash flooding in Jeddah.
He underlined that all officials should carry out their duty “to the fullest extent with no nepotism, and that they have the power to arrest, investigate and prosecute.”
The General Authority for Meteorology and Environmental Protection (GAMEP) said rainfall will continue in the region, and will include Jeddah, Usfan, Dhaban, Bahra, Khulais, Makkah and Taif.
Flooding is expected, accompanied by active surface winds and possible hail showers. Relevant authorities said they have received thousands of calls from citizens and residents.
Sarhan said the rain has caused some damage to public and private properties, and people are urging authorities to investigate the causes of the delay in implementing drainage projects in Jeddah.
He added that coordination rooms have been set up in the Department of Civil Defense for all affected cities and towns. The rain started in Rabigh and continued south through Thuwal, reaching Jeddah. The Civil Defense said the rain has created pools of water that are dangerous to children.
GAMEP said the weather observatory at King Abdul Aziz Airport was struck by lightning, causing damage to the exterior that is being repaired, but the observatory is functioning as normal.
Meanwhile, Border Guards in Makkah activated the Clouds 38 plan, which is designed to support the Civil Defense in case of rain and flooding in the area.
The Search and Rescue Coordination Center for the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba is implementing the plan.
Regular reports are being sent to the coordination center, as per the instructions of the commander of the Border Guards in Makkah, Maj. Gen. Talal bin Ali Al-Shamrani. Search-and-rescue teams are supporting Civil Defense operations when needed.
Border Guards spokesman Maj. Fares Al-Malki urged all citizens and residents to follow the instructions and heed the warnings of the Civil Defense.

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