Flash Flood Overtakes Saudi Arabia, Kills six

JEDDAH: Six people were killed in heavy floods that hit the northern regions of Saudi Arabia here Tuesday, according to reports.


Among the dead were a mother and her two children, who drowned in Shuaib Valley, 10 km west of Tareef.

Maj. Fahad Al-Asmar, Northern Border Civil Defense spokesman, was quoted as saying in a local publication that the administration received a report at 11:25 p.m. about a missing family.

“Search teams and divers moved immediately to the site pointed out by the father, and found the car with his wife and two children dead inside,” said Al-Asmar.

Civil Defense teams are also searching for the bodies of two children swept out of their father’s car in another valley. The teams had rescued the father and two of his other children from his car, which had overturned several times because of the powerful floodwaters.

All Civil Defense teams and security agencies have been placed on alert in the region as heavy rain caused havoc on the roads and strong winds raised dust that reduced visibility on the roads.

Residents said they have not seen such heavy rainfall in over 30 years. Many people had gone out to picnic in the valleys to enjoy the rainfall despite warnings by the Civil Defense that there was a danger of flooding in these areas.

Abdullah Al-Jasser, Al-Qurayyat’s mayor, reportedly managed the flood preparations and fallout. The highway leading to Haditha in the west was closed because of the bad weather. Schools were also closed on the orders of Mohammad Al-Thubaiti, the region’s director of education.

Al-Jouf Civil Defense spokesman Lt. Atallah Al-Rouwaili said the region’s operations room received more than 50 reports of stranded individuals and vehicles.

Jamal Al-Oufaisan, director of Al-Qurayyat’s health department, said all hospitals have been placed on alert to treat people injured because of the bad weather.