Heavy downpour overwhelm Saudi capital
Cars drive through a flooded street in northern Riyadh, on November 17, 2013, after heavy rains fell overnight in the Saudi capital, caused floods and traffic jams. [FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images]
Three people were reported missing in Riyadh as a result of heavy rainfall which brought daily life to a near standstill in the Saudi capital, the kingdom’s Civil Defense authority said on Sunday.
Meteorologists said the wave of rainfall targeting central and eastern Saudi Arabia and some Gulf areas is expected to last until Thursday.
Weather forecasts report that rainfall intensity will reach its peak on Monday and Tuesday particularly in Saudi coastal areas between Khafji and Dammam.
Average rainfall in these coastal areas may reach 100 mm.
Heavy rains in Riyadh since Saturday flooded roads and prompted authorities to take heightened security and logistical measures in order to protect citizens and prevent damage of infrastructure.
Civil Defense Forces worked across the capital and saved more than 24 citizens who were stuck in their vehicles.
Authorities advised citizens to remain indoors until floodwater subsides while the Saudi ministry of education suspended schools and universities in Riyadh on Sunday out of fear of continuous rainfall which experts confirm are unprecedented in 30 years in the kingdom.
Heavy rains fell on Saturday and Sunday in the governorates of Marat, Thadig, Diriyyah and al-Majmaah. On Saturday, rain also fell in the city of Jizan, the governorates of Sabya, al-Aydabi and al-Baha province.