Weather ‘code red’: Saudi Arabia braced for more thunder and rain

Updated 12 November 2018
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Weather ‘code red’: Saudi Arabia braced for more thunder and rain

  • Authorities issued a “code red” warning of heavy thunderstorms and dust storms in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia
  • Forecasters expect overnight mist and fog throughout the Kingdom

JEDDAH: Is it wet enough for you? Well it’s about to get even wetter.

As the mopping up continued after torrential rain in Saudi Arabia, weather forecasters warned of more to come on Wednesday.

The General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection (PME) issued a “code red” warning of heavy thunderstorms and dust storms in the eastern region including Hafr Albatin, Alkhafhi and other cities, continuing until Friday.

The PME expects thunder and rain in the Eastern Province, Riyadh, Qassim, Aljouf, Tabuk, and some parts of Hail city in the northwest, with the possibility of snow in elevated areas.  There may also be thunderstorms in Najran, Jazan, Asir, Baha and Makkah region, including the coastal areas, with limited visibility because of dust storms.

Forecasters expect overnight mist and fog throughout the Kingdom, except on the coasts.  

Ten regions have been affected by a series of torrential downpours that began last week. Rain lashed down in Jazan and surrounding areas on Monday, and the PME urged people to avoid valleys and to be wary of surface water.

The Saudi Electricity Company apologized to residents in Rafhaa after power cuts and interruptions to the electricity supply caused by the adverse weather. 

Jeddah Municipality removed 123,000 cubic meters of surface water after heavy rainfall. Water was cleared from more than 400 locations, including 248 main streets and 150 service roads.

In Kuwait, meanwhile, floods and torrential rain closed government offices, schools and the main stock exchange — and cost a government official his job.

The downpour started on Monday night and continued into the early hours of Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah fired roads and transport head Ahmad Al-Hassan after the rain brought parts of the country to a standstill.


Major boost for Al-Jouf as Saudi king set to announce new city

King Salman arrived in Al-Jouf on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 21 November 2018
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Major boost for Al-Jouf as Saudi king set to announce new city

  • The king will launch Waad Al-Shamaal, a new city aimed at boosting the country’s mining infrastructure

JEDDAH: Projects worth several billion riyals are to be unveiled by Saudi Arabia’s king this week as he continues his tour of the country’s regions.
King Salman arrived in the province of Al-Jouf on Tuesday night where he will announce the construction of a new city, bolstering the local economy and creating thousands of jobs in Saudi Arabia’s most northern region.
On Thursday, the king will launch Waad Al-Shamaal, a new city aimed at boosting the country’s mining infrastructure, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 
He will lay the foundation stone for the first phase of the SR85 billion ($22 billion) city in Toriaf province — worth SR55 billion —  and is also set to inaugurate the projects and facilities of the second phase — worth SR30 billion.
In the past two months the king has visited a number of major cities, announcing projects and initiatives to develop the Kingdom inline with Vision 2030 — a broad strategic plan to diversify the economy and end dependence on oil revenues.
Before arriving in Al-Jouf, King Salman visited Tabuk, where several projects worth more than SR11 billion were launched.
He also met the team heading Amaala, the ultra-luxurious tourist destination that was unveiled in September and dubbed the “Riviera of the Middle East,” and was briefed on plans for the new attraction.
King Salman praised Amaala’s objectives to contribute to promoting economic diversification, creating investment opportunities for the private sector, and developing the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia while preserving the cultural and environmental heritage.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced yet another major project in western Saudi Arabia.
Wadi Al-Disah Development Project, which is expected to become one of the Kingdom’s most environmentally diverse tourist attractions, adds to a number of already launched ventures on western coastal regions.
PIF will establish a company to develop Wadi Al-Disah in accordance with international best practices regarding environmental conservation and sustainable development.
In addition to this week’s tour, the king has so far visited Madinah, Qassim and Hail.