Rains cause heavy flooding in Jazan; boy drowns

Updated 03 August 2012
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Rains cause heavy flooding in Jazan; boy drowns

Heavy rains and resulting flooding in Jazan Province yesterday led to the death of a child and a power outage for up to 12 hours in some places. People had to break their fast and have suhoor by candlelight, while some mosques canceled the Taraweeh prayer as air-conditioners could not be operated.
In Abu Areesh, the heavy rains led to the formation of small lakes in several neighborhoods, reflecting the failure of the drainage projects that had recently been carried out. The inundations led to traffic jams as vehicles stalled.
Some residents blamed the flooding on the the projects’ contractor, who had delayed the implementation of several projects.
Civil Defense spokesman Musleh Ahmed Al-Ghamdi said the streams in the valleys were taking their natural course. He said the Civil Defense received information that someone had fallen down a valley near the town of Al-Haqu. A Civil Defense team rushed to the site but it was too late. A 4-year-old boy had fallen into a rainwater-swollen channel in Al-Tafsha Valley and drowned by the time they arrived. Heavy rains had turned the dry rainwater channel into a stream of raging torrent.
The chief of the Civil Defense department in Jazan, Hasan bin Ali Al-Qufaily, sent safety patrols to warn people against entering valleys.
The Jazan branch administrator of the Ministry of Water and Electricity, E. Mohammed Al-Ojaibi, apologized to those affected by the disruption of electricity caused by the storms and lightnings in the villages south of Abu Areesh, pointing out that maintenance teams were working to restore electricity to some areas which are still without power.


Health and safety tips for pilgrims

Pilgrims at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. (SPA)
Updated 7 min 36 sec ago
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Health and safety tips for pilgrims

Performing Umrah and praying at the Grand Mosque during Ramadan leads to a much greater movement of vehicles and pedestrians on the roads leading to the central area surrounding the Grand Mosque. This requires exceptional organizational procedures for transporting pilgrims and worshipers and managing their movements inside the Grand Mosque and on the roads leading to it.
Our goals are to maintain your safety and to facilitate your Umrah rituals with ease, tranquility and placidity.

How to reach?
The density of pedestrian traffic is very high on all roads leading to the Grand Mosque and continues for hours before, during and after prayers all the time.
To keep your safety and facilitate your way to the central area surrounding the Grand Mosque, the roads in the central area surrounding were specified for the pedestrian movement during the time of prayers. Pilgrims and worshipers are transported to the central area around the Grand Mosque and their accommodation using public transport buses from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and 13 parking spaces to nine other public transport stations around the Grand Mosque.
Vehicles driven by drivers seeking to perform Umrah must park at the parking areas at entrances to Makkah and use public transport to their destination.
Traffic men are stationed at 34 locations on the roads leading to the Grand Mosque to follow up on the traffic status and take all necessary measures to keep pedestrians safe. They compel the vehicles used to transport worshipers and pilgrims to Makkah to go to public or private parking spaces. They prevent all types of vehicles from parking on the roads and in locations affecting pedestrian safety. They prevent motorbikes and bicycles from using roads in the central area, and to be used for charge-paid transportation.

You can reach the Grand Mosque using one of the following options:
Using public transport buses from King Abdulaziz International Airport to public transport stations around the Grand Mosque.
Using transport services between parking spaces inside the Holy Places and the public transport stations in the central region.
Using taxis to the nearest site of the Grand Mosque or to your place of accommodation.
Using private cars driven by non-pilgrims to the nearest site of the Grand Mosque or to your place of accommodation.
Walking from your place of accommodation in the central area and adjacent neighborhoods.

What you should know before heading to the Grand Mosque
The absorptive capacity defines the number of visitors who can perform prayers in the Grand Mosque and in its precincts. This capacity decreases when performing the “Taraweeh” and “TaHajjud” prayers to enable pilgrims to perform “Tawaaf” and “Saa’i,” requiring the evacuation of the “Mataf” and the “Masa’a.”.
Because of the large turnout of pilgrims and worshipers and with the view of maintaining their safety, all roads leading to the Grand Mosque are reserved for pedestrians before prayers and one hour or more after, according to the number of pedestrians. This period is extended to two hours during Friday prayers, and for prayers during the last 10 days of Ramadan and Fitr prayers.

How to move in the Grand Mosque and the surrounding area:
The external and internal area of the Grand Mosque is equipped with pedestrian corridors that cannot be used for sitting, waiting or praying.
Illuminated signboards: When you enter the gates you will find signboards. When they light up in green it means that you have access to the Grand Mosque through this gate, but when it lights up in red, there is no access through this door owing to congestion.

Safety tips:
Move calmly, abide by traffic directions, pay attention to the elderly and other worshipers and pilgrims, and follow the instructions of the security personnel.
Move slowly when heading to public transport stations immediately after the prayer. Maintain your calm and abide by the instructions of security personnel.
Avoid obstructing pedestrian traffic by gathering in the external areas of the Mosque or by stopping by street vendors.
Pilgrims cannot perform their prayers at the doors of the Grand Mosque, near the entrances and exits of escalators, on the pedestrian corridors, on the roads and streets leading to the Mosque, on the entrances and exits of car tunnels and in front of toilets.

General instructions:
Some children who are taken to the Grand Mosque lose their parents, thus there is a dire need to monitor and take good care of them.
Pilgrims and worshipers must stay away from work or maintenance areas inside and outside the Mosque.
Smoking, begging, taking pictures, or selling goods are prohibited inside the Mosque and surrounding areas.
Electrical plugs reserved for maintenance work cannot be used for personal purposes to avoid any electrical short-circuit that may affect the signboards in the Grand Mosque.
It is prohibited to play with escalators, regular stairs or carts inside the Grand Mosque.
It is prohibited to tamper with any of the firefighting tools such as the fire extinguishers, firefighting water hoses or fire alarms.

Prohibitions:
Carrying and entering weapons and all types of sharp tools into the Grand Mosque and its squares.
Conducting any act that would affect the pilgrims and worshipers’ safety and tranquility or would hinder facilitating the performance of Tawaf, Saa’i and praying.
Entry of motorcycles and bicycles into the areas of the Grand Mosque is prohibited.
Moving personal belongings to the Grand Mosque and its squares, or suspending them on the windows of the Grand Mosque from inside and outside, or leaving them in the courtyard of the Grand Mosque. Such belongings can be kept in the boxes allocated to this end in the courtyards.