Floods in Saudi Arabia kill 12 and spark nearly 300 rescues

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Civil Defense members help rescue a vehicle in Al-Muwayh. (Civil Defense)
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Floods this week in Saudi Arabia killed 12 people and led to dozens of rescues, the Civil Defense said on Wednesday. (Twitter: Saudi Civil Defense)
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Floods this week in Saudi Arabia killed 12 people and led to dozens of rescues, the Civil Defense said on Wednesday. (Twitter: Saudi Civil Defense)
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Floods this week in Saudi Arabia killed 12 people and led to dozens of rescues, the Civil Defense said on Wednesday. (Twitter: Saudi Civil Defense)
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Floods this week in Saudi Arabia killed 12 people and led to dozens of rescues, the Civil Defense said on Wednesday. (Twitter: Saudi Civil Defense)
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Floods this week in Saudi Arabia killed 12 people and led to dozens of rescues, the Civil Defense said on Wednesday. (Twitter: Saudi Civil Defense)
Updated 31 January 2019
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Floods in Saudi Arabia kill 12 and spark nearly 300 rescues

  • main emergency operations took place in Tabuk where 10 people died
  • The emergency services rescued 271 people from flooded areas, more than half of them in Tabuk

JEDDAH: Floods this week in Saudi Arabia killed 12 people and led to dozens of rescues, the Civil Defense said on Wednesday.

The main emergency operations took place in Tabuk where 10 people died since heavy rain started on Sunday. One person died in Madinah where dramatic videos showed flood waters pouring through the streets. Another person was killed in the northern border regions.

The emergency services rescued 271 people from flooded areas, more than half of them in Tabuk.

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READ MORE: Dozens rescued from flooding as heavy rain shuts schools and roads in Saudi Arabia

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Heavy downpours of rain have hit several areas of Saudi Arabia this week, mainly in western and northwestern parts of the Kingdom near its border with Jordan.

Prince Faisal bin Salman, governor of Medinah province visited those affected in flooded regions.

A number of committees have been set up to assess the damage caused by the bad weather, the agency said.

Saudi Press Agency reports also highlighted where drainage systems at points around the city of Tabuk had been effective, and that further future works would be carried out to improve the city's drainage during heavy rainfall.


Gruelling Dakar Rally route through Saudi Arabia’s ‘captivating’ deserts revealed by Sports Authority

Updated 25 April 2019
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Gruelling Dakar Rally route through Saudi Arabia’s ‘captivating’ deserts revealed by Sports Authority

AL-QADDIYA: More details about the Dakar Rally expected to take place in January 2020 in Saudi Arabia were released on Thursday by the Kingdom's General Sports Authority at an event in Al-Qaddiya.

The race starts on Jan. 5 in Jeddah, with the drivers set to race through Al-Madinah, Tabuk and Ha’il regions before a having a rest day in Riyadh. From the capital, the route winds its way back toward the coast through the Asir region and ends in the city of Al-Qaddiya on Jan. 12.

Speaking at the event, the chairman of the General Sports Authority (GSA) Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal announced a 10-year partnership with the Dakar Rally, saying: "We want the world to see the captivating desert of Saudi Arabia and to get to know the good and hospitable people of the Kingdom that looks forward to receiving the world.

“Our country is extremely passionate about sport and our strategic goal is to feed that appetite as we move further towards achieving Vision 2030 of which sport is a basic pillar.

“In hosting Dakar Rally we aim to produce an unbelievable and unforgettable experience for drivers as they discover the beauty of Saudi nature and a unique spectacle for motorsport fans not only in Saudi Arabia but also in the region and around the world.”

It was announced earlier this month that the race would be held in Saudi Arabia, and for the first time in the Middle East.

The Dakar has been held in South America since 2009. The gruelling multi-stage rally was previously held in Africa but was relocated after terrorist threats in Mauritania in 2008.

Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Abdullah Al-Faisal, chairman of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, said when the race announcement was made: “I have always wanted to participate in Dakar Rally, while I wasn’t fortunate to achieve that ambition, I’m now part of achieving a much bigger dream for my country as Dakar comes to the Middle East region for the first time ever.”

CEO of Qiddiya project Michael Reininger said: "Qiddiya will soon become the centre of the motorsports world by virtue of an unparalleled collection of on track and off road facilities and a set of experiences and events that have never been assembled in one place before.”

The CEO of the rally's organizing company, Amaury Sport Organization, Yann Le Moenner thanked the princes for their commitment to bringing the rally to Saudi Arabia, adding: “Crossing the best deserts of the world has always been in the DNA of the Dakar, to discover and share.”

Meanwhile, the drivers involved in the rally have been in Saudi Arabia soaking up local culture and experiencing some of the desert landscapes they will drive through in January.