Severe weather in Saudi Arabia kills 14

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Several people have died over the last couple of weeks due to severe weather conditions in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Several people have died over the last couple of weeks due to severe weather conditions in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Several people have died over the last couple of weeks due to severe weather conditions in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Several people have died over the last couple of weeks due to severe weather conditions in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Several people have died over the last couple of weeks due to severe weather conditions in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Several people have died over the last couple of weeks due to the severe weather conditions in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Several people have died over the last couple of weeks due to the severe weather conditions in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Updated 31 October 2018
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Severe weather in Saudi Arabia kills 14

  • Civil Defense forces rescued 299 stranded people, including 115 in Makkah. Most of those needing help were trapped in their vehicles, of which 88 people were evacuated and 282 cars were towed

JEDDAH: Fourteen people have been killed in the extreme weather conditions in Saudi Arabia over the last two weeks.

The Kingdom has been hit by heavy rain and thunderstorms and officials said this year has seen some the most extreme weather conditions in decades.

The Directorate General of Civil Defense said one of the deaths occurred in Riyadh, four cases were recorded in Makkah, two in the Eastern Province, one in Asir, one in Tabuk, three in Al-Baha, one in Jazan and one in Hail.

Since Oct. 19, the Command and Guidance Center in Riyadh has received 423 requests for help from the civil defense, as the heavy rain affected 13 areas of the Kingdom, SPA reported.

Civil Defense forces rescued 299 stranded people, including 115 in Makkah. Most of those needing help were trapped in their vehicles, of which 88 people were evacuated and 282 cars were towed.

The General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection warned of further bad weather with rain throughout the Kingdom, and winds and lifting dust in some areas.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Water, Faisal Al-Subaie, said Saudi Arabia usually witnesses thunderstorms ranging between medium and heavy during this time of the year, but this year the storms have been particularly severe.

Al-Subaie said several municipalities had deployed teams to drain the excess water and clean the fallen trees and debris off the streets.

The Civil Defense has called upon citizens and residents to take precautions and not go near flooded areas or wadis, which are likely to flash flood in heavy rains. 


Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat: ‘Our security and religion are a red line’

Updated 19 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat: ‘Our security and religion are a red line’

  • Al-Jubeir's statement comes following last week's attacks on Saudi oil tankers in the Arabian Gul and installations within the Kingdom
  • He accused Iran of committing "countless crimes" including seeking to destabilize the region

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is doing its best to avoid war in the region but stands ready to respond with "all strength and determination" to defend itself from any threat, the Kingdom's top diplomat said on Sunday.

In a news conference, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir accused Iran of committing "countless crimes" including seeking to destabilize the region. He urged the international community to take responsibility to stop the Islamic republic from doing so.

"Our security and religion are a red line," Al-Jubeir said. His statement comes following last week's attacks on Saudi oil tankers in the Arabian Gulf and installations within the Kingdom.

Iran’s foreign minister was quoted by the state-run IRNA news agency on Saturday as saying his country is “not seeking war” even as the chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Tehran was in a “full-fledged intelligence war with the US.“

The US has ordered bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Arabian Gulf over an unexplained threat they perceive from Iran, raising tensions a year after Trump pulled America out of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Al-Jubeir said Iranian regime can spare the region the dangers of war by adhering to international laws and covenants, by stopping its interference in the internal affairs of other countries of the region, by stopping its support for terrorist groups and militias, and immediately halting its missile and nuclear weapons programs.

"Saudi Arabia stresses that its hand is always extended to peace and seeks to achieve it, and believes that the peoples of the region, including the Iranian people, have the right to live in security and stability and to move towards development," he said.

"We want peace and stability and we want to focus on the Kingdom's Vision 2030 which will enrich Saudi people’s lives," he added.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have repeatedly accused Iran of bankrolling the activities of its proxy Shiite militias such as the Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and various groups in Iraq.

Houthi militias had repeatedly launched ballistic missiles and rockets into civilian targets in Saudi Arabia since a Saudi-led Arab Coalition threw its support behind the government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi against the Iran-backed power-grabbers. Last week, they owned responsibility for the drone attacks on two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Jubeir also urged Qatar, an estranged member of the GCC to stop supporting extremists and terrorists and return to the fold. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt severed trade and diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017, charging Doha of siding with terror groups that have been destabilizing the region. 

Instead of making amends with its GCC brothers, Qatar sought help from Turkey and Iran in bid to alleviate the impact of the boycott action of the group known as the anti-terror quarter (ATQ).