Over 900 people rescued from life-threatening floods in Saudi

Published April 16th, 2016 - 06:00 GMT
A Saudi worker clears a flooded street in Riyadh. (AFP/Fayez Nureldine)
A Saudi worker clears a flooded street in Riyadh. (AFP/Fayez Nureldine)

The recent heavy rain in the Kingdom has resulted in 18 deaths, while 24 people lost their lives in Yemen. The Civil Defense rescued 915 people caught up in Saudi flooded areas on Wednesday.

According to the Civil Defense Directorate, up until Thursday morning, its control center received more than 26,000 calls from people affected by the stormy weather.

He said Makkah recorded the highest number with 13,771 calls, Riyadh with 6,212 Baha 4,554, Asir 982, Jazan 757, Madinah 59, Najran three, Hail six and Qassim 15.

There were 225 rescued in Riyadh, 381 in Makkah, 251 in Asir, 18 in Jazan and two in Najran. He said most were trapped in their vehicles in waterlogged areas. Some 850 vehicles were pulled out of pools of water and 398 people were evacuated from their homes, which included 61 families. 

Students at an elementary school had to be evacuated in Jazan when part of their building collapsed.

Yahya Al-Qahtani, spokesman for the Civil Defense in Jazan, said two Pakistanis died in the floods while his men rescued 18 people caught in valleys. A search was underway for three missing people.

The Saudi Red Crescent separately reported one death in Al-Baha, more than 300 km from Jazan.

Another 27 people in Al-Baha were injured over three days because of accidents during heavy rains

Meanwhile, 24 people were killed in northern Yemen in flooding caused by heavy rains, the officials said. Security sources said 10 people died in the province of Amran, north of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, and more people were missing.

Flooding damaged several houses and cut off roads in both Amran and Hajjah, northwest of Sanaa, where 14 people were killed, some of them in landslides.

South of Hajjah in the province of Al-Mahwit, a dam burst causing flooding of farmland and the collapse of bridges, the sources said.

By Mohammed Rasooldeen

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