Saudi Arabia: Heavy Rains Lash Makkah

Arab News

Makkah, Jan 12: Saudi authorities evacuated 1,050 detainees in Makkah’s general prison yesterday after it was hit by floods caused by heavy rains, according to Maj. Gen. Ali Al-Harithy, director general of prisons.

“All measures have been taken to ensure the safety of prisoners,” he said, adding that they have been provided food, clothing and other necessities.

He said the prisoners were transferred to nearby reformatories. “We have also allowed them to contact with their relatives to make them reassured of their safety.”

As a result of rains one person died, some buildings partly collapsed and about 50 electric short-circuits at houses and shops were reported in various parts of Makkah. Roads and streets in many parts of the city were blocked as they were inundated with water. An old man died inside his vehicle while he was trying to cross a flooded area in Jarwal.

The roof of an old building in Shesha and the wall of a house in Jabal Al-Noor district collapsed as a result of rains.

Lt. Col. Ali Al-Muntashri, spokesman of civil defense in Makkah, told Arab News that heavy downpours in the city continued for three hours, adding that his department had rescued many people trapped in floodwaters across the city, especially in the Haj Street and Um Al-Joud Street.

Jamal Hariri, deputy mayor for services, said yesterday’s rains were the heaviest in recent years. “The municipality is fully prepared to confront any emergency situation caused by rains,” he told Arab News. The civil defense has urged the governorate to set up a committee to evaluate the damages caused by the rains.


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