Saudi: 2 dead as torrential rains lash; schools shut, roads blocked

The Kingdom's National Center of Meteorology recorded the highest amount of rain in Jeddah Governorate, from 8 am to 2 pm, which amounted to 179 millimeters in six hours.

Riyadh: The authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced, on Thursday, that two deaths had been recorded as a result of heavy rains in many regions of the country, Saudi media reported.

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According to Arabic TV Al Ekhbariya, the spokesman for the Civil Defense in the Makkah Al-Mukarramah region, Colonel Mohammad Al-Qarni said, “Two deaths have been recorded so far, and we urge everyone not to go out unless necessary.”

The Kingdom’s National Center of Meteorology recorded the highest amount of rain in Jeddah Governorate, from 8 am to 2 pm, which amounted to 179 millimeters in six hours.

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The center clarified, through the report it issued, that the amount of rain that fell on Thursday in Jeddah exceeds the amount of rain recorded in 2009.

The coastal city of Jeddah in the Kingdom witnessing heavy rains and strong winds, leading to the suspension of schools, flight delays and the closure of the road to Makkah.

The Department of Education in Jeddah announced, in a statement, the suspension of studies in all schools in the city, “due to the rainy situation and to preserve the safety of students,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah also announced on Twitter that, “The departure of some flights was delayed due to weather conditions.”

The National Center of Meteorology said on Twitter that many regions of the Kingdom, including Makkah and Madinah, are witnessing heavy rains and active winds.

The Jeddah Municipality is racing against time to restore life to normal after deploying a total of 2,564 workers, equipped with about 960 machines, to remove water and waste from roads and streets to facilitate the resumption of traffic.

The Saudi Meteorological Center warned of thunderstorms accompanied by heavy rain in the governorates of Jeddah and Bahra in the Makkah Al-Mukarramah region, including the Shuaiba center and the coastal parts, accompanied by activity in surface winds, hail, torrential rain, lack of horizontal visibility, and high waves.

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It is noteworthy that the General Directorate of Civil Defense urged all citizens and residents to take precautions and caution in light of the climatic condition the Kingdom is witnessing.

Videos being shared on social media showed vehicles being swept away by floods caused by heavy rainfall.

As per media reports, several streets in Jeddah’s residential neighborhoods were flooded due to heavy rains, causing many vehicles to be stranded.

Swimmers from the Jeddah Civil Defense rescued several motorists trapped inside their submerged cars in the flooded King Abdullah Road tunnel. Many cars drowned in the water in a completely closed eastern street of Jeddah as a result of the heavy rains.

Earlier today, the Emirate of Makkah Al-Mukarramah Region announced the closure of the Makkah-Jeddah Expressway as a precautionary measure due to rain and in the interest of everyone’s safety.

Several roads, including the Al-Haramain road and some tunnels in the governorate, were closed after many parts of Jeddah began witnessing heavy rains since Thursday morning.

Current rainy situation in Saudi Arabia

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