Torrential Rain Cuts Off Dozens of Villages

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Staff Writer

Published — Wednesday 13 August 2003

Last Update 13 August 2003 3:00 am

RIYADH, 13 August 2003 — After five days of torrential rains dozens of villages in the mountainous southwestern region of the Kingdom have been cut off, a newspaper reported yesterday.

More than 13,000 people and some 50 villages have been cut off, notably in Jizan province, the Okaz daily said.

Interior Minister Prince Naif ordered Jizan Governor Mohammed ibn Nasser to “provide emergency aid” to these people, the paper said.

Last week three family members who had gone on a picnic outing were killed when they were swept away by floods in Jizan. The civil defense workers found the three bodies in a lake in Jizan Valley.

Torrential rains have also damaged roads, cut electricity and caused floods that have left some citizens stranded and awaiting rescue by civil defense.

The Kingdom is one of the most arid countries in the world and includes the vast Rub Al-Khali desert, or Empty Quarter.

Summer storms are not unusual in the mountainous southwestern region bordering Yemen. Yemen too was hit by torrential rains in the last week.

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