DUBAI: Rains and flooding have killed 18 people throughout Saudi Arabia and 915 had to be rescued from inside their vehicles, the General Directorate of Saudi Civil Defense said yesterday. Floodwaters inundated roadways in Riyadh, holy Makkah and the mountainous south of the mostly desert kingdom, the directorate said in a statement. Videos posted on social media showed cars submerged in water in the southwestern city of Abha.
Heavy rains have lashed Saudi Arabia for several days and the education ministry closed schools in and around the capital At least one person has died in Rimah, northeast of Riyadh, and 72 stranded motorists were rescued in the region, Saudi Civil Defense announced on Wednesday as heavy showers continue to lash on Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. About 10 cars were submerged under about two meters of water in a motorway underpass in the Laban district on the capital’s western outskirts. The Saudi Press Agency said the rains also struck the city of Buraidah, some 320 km northwest of Riyadh, as well as the surrounding Qasim province.
Rain in Buraidah, the capital of Qasim province, inundated five houses. Their tenants were provided accommodation in furnished apartments. Some trees were uprooted and signboards collapsed. Several major streets were closed to traffic. About 15 vehicles were stranded in pools of water. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education announced that classes in general education schools were suspended on Wednesday in Riyadh, and the governorates of Rumah, Thadiq, Huraimla, Al-Diriyah, Al- Uyaynah, Dhruma and Al-Muzahimiyah due to the weather conditions.
The security authorities closed Al-Hada mountain road on Tuesday night as a precautionary measure due to thick fog and lack of visibility. There was light rainfall in the area. There were no rock slides. Taif city had light rainfall on Tuesday. Heavy rain lashed al- Khurmah governorate and its vicinity. There was moderate rain on Tuesday along the western coast of northern Jeddah, in Dhahban, Thuwwal, Saabar, Al-Qudhaimah up to parts of Rabigh governorate. Students were allowed to go home before the end of the school day
Rains lash UAE
Meanwhile, heavy rains lashed parts of the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, bringing airports, roads and schools to a standstill for most of the morning. Dramatic videos posted on social media networks from the desert country showed strong winds and flooding battering parts of the the capital Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as authorities announced airport delays, schools closed, and traffic piled up as commuters began their drive home.
Departure flights at Dubai’s two international airports were slightly delayed due to bad weather conditions but operations were largely unaffected, the Dubai Airports operator said on Wednesday. At the arrivals terminal of Dubai International airport, a passenger flying in from Karachi, Pakistan, told Al Arabiya English over the phone about her Emirates Airlines plane circling the air for nearly an hour and half when its pilot could not receive clearance for landing due to the severe weather conditions. — Agencies