x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Jeddah floods: two dead and hundreds of calls for help, say Saudi's civil defence

After receiving almost 2,000 calls for help, Saudi civil defence warn citizens to take caution ahead of flooding along West coast cities of Saudi Arabia

Saudi women and children cross a flooded street in Jeddah. Dozens of people were plucked from vehicles engulfed by floodwaters, Saudi civil defence authorities said, with heavy rainfall expected to last at least until Wednesday. Amer Hilabi  / AFP Photo
Saudi women and children cross a flooded street in Jeddah. Dozens of people were plucked from vehicles engulfed by floodwaters, Saudi civil defence authorities said, with heavy rainfall expected to last at least until Wednesday. Amer Hilabi / AFP Photo

Two people died from electrocution and three are injured but stable after rains in Jeddah caused flooding in parts of the city and caused hundreds to ask for help from authorities.

The heavy rains that fell on the west coast cities of Saudi Arabia left motorists stranded and forced authorities to close institutions and schools in Jeddah on Tuesday.

Civil defence teams in Saudi Arabia rescued 481 people and ordered the evacuation of 10 from buildings after responding to 1,989 calls for help.

The media centre said that the bulk of the calls received by the control and guidance centre was in Mecca with the majority of the emergency calls being made in the Holy City.

Read more: Jeddah hit by floods as heavy rain arrives in Saudi Arabia

Civil defence also issued further flood warnings as rain is expected to continue on Wednesday.

Jeddah residents took to social media to post videos of the flooding and to record incidents of cars flooding in large pools of water throughout the Western cities.

Authorities urged schools to stay closed and called for citizens to proceed with caution as flooding remains rampant in several parts of Saudi Arabia's second largest city.

The media centre called on residents to take precautions and not to be present in valleys or to go out to areas prone to heavy rain.

Flooding occurs almost every year in Jeddah, where residents have long decried poor infrastructure.

Some who were held directly accountable for the mismanagement of funds in infrastructure projects that cause the 2009 floods were arrested earlier in November, as part of an anti-corruption committee led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Floods killed 123 people in the Red Sea city in 2009, and about 10 people two years later.