ThePlace: Al-Qandal Forest located in Saudi Arabia’s Farasan Islands

Photo/Saudi Tourism
Updated 07 September 2019

ThePlace: Al-Qandal Forest located in Saudi Arabia’s Farasan Islands

  • The gorgeous green scenery resembles an oil painting

Al-Qandal Forest The beautiful Farasan Islands are renowned for their rich flora and fauna — and particularly for their marine life. The islands’ unspoiled coral reefs are a popular spot with divers, but visitors to the nature reserve can also see plenty of aquatic life without entering the water.
Al-Qandal — one of the northern islands — is home to Al-Qandal Forest, which is rich in mangrove trees and is an ideal place for hiking thanks to its extensive network of walkways and bays. The gorgeous green scenery resembles an oil painting.
In April and May, the Hareed (parrotfish) festival takes place, which celebrates the annual arrival of the parrotfish to the Farasan Islands and honors the vital role of the fish in the lives of the local people. Parrotfish spend up to 90 percent of their time eating algae off coral reefs, which cleans the reefs and helps the corals stay healthy.
This photograph was taken by Mohammed Al-Aalim as part of the Colors of Saudi competition.


Karachi braces for weekend rains as billions lost to drenches this week

Updated 26 August 2020

Karachi braces for weekend rains as billions lost to drenches this week

  • Losses from Tuesday's flooding estimated at Rs5 billion ($30 million), Karachi traders say
  • Met agency says floodwater in Karachi must be drained immediately to prevent further flooding on Saturday

KARACHI: Another spell of heavy rain is expected to lash the port city of Karachi on Saturday, Pakistan's meteorological department warned, as it called on the city's authorities to drain water from flooded neighborhoods to avoid further damage and casualties.

Rain-related incidents in the past few days killed dozens of people in the coastal metropolis of Sindh province, while streets, homes and factories were flooded with sewage water, causing losses of billions of rupees in the city where the drainage and sewage systems are outdated.

"There will be a gap of two days (in rains). If it is not utilized to drain out the water from the affected areas, a light to moderate spell on Saturday will drown them again," Sardar Sarfraz, chief metrological officer of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, told Arab News.

On Tuesday, he said, a record 345 millimeters of rainfall flooded most of the city.

As flooding brought operations at the city's industrial zones to a standstill, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan said the government should declare the rains a national disaster to allow people to be compensated.

Shaikh Umar Rehan, president of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) told Arab News that work has been heavily disrupted at the city's factories which normally operate non-stop.

“The factories work round the clock, but on Tuesday, even one shift couldn’t be completed,” he said.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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According to Atiq Mir, president of the Karachi Traders Association, losses from damages to the markets in the old city area alone are estimated to be Rs1 billion.

"As trade volume is Rs4 billion per day, both direct and indirect losses make it Rs5 billion ($30 million). On Wednesday, as the markets could not open completely, the (trade) community will have to bear another Rs2.5 billion losses."

The Sindh government and the military say teams are on the ground to drain the water and rescue the affected.

“It has broken an 89-year record and it was continuously raining for eight hours but as soon as the rain stopped teams were on ground to clear the areas. Most of the city’s thoroughfares were cleared by the Tuesday evening. The entire Sindh government was in the field to supervise the relief work,” Sindh Labor Minister Saeed Ghani told Arab News.

He added that the problem will not be resolved within days.

The military's media wing said in a statement that relief and rescue efforts were underway in the heavily flooded Malir Nadi, Kohi Goth and Dur Muhammad Goth areas of the city.