By Md Al-Sulami
JEDDAH, Nov 19 – At least 15 people have died and eight others are reported missing in flash floods caused by heavy rains in Riyadh and other parts of the Kingdom in the last 24 hours.
The Civil Defense Department said Monday that it had received more than 7,000 calls for help from different regions following rains. “We have rescued over 800 stranded people, while 450 vehicles have been pulled out from flooded areas,” it said in a statement. The department has urged the public to be cautious following weather forecasts for more rains in the next three days.
Col. Saeed Sarhan, the department’s spokesman in Makkah, said the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment has forecast the formation of thunderclouds over the southern Makkah region, Qunfuda and Al-Laith, as well as Makkah and Taif.
Deaths resulting from rain-related accidents were reported across the Kingdom, sources said.
Civil Defense officers found the body of a missing Filipino worker in the Northern Border Province on Monday. He was reported missing after his truck fell in deep waters on a damaged road. Three workers including two Filipinos and an Arab who were traveling with him, survived.
“They suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment,” said Maj. Abdul Rahman Al-Ahmari, deputy spokesman of Civil Defense in the region. Flash floods had washed away the entire road surface and the ground had also caved in before the truck attempted to cross it, eyewitnesses said. The Civil Defense received a report of four missing workers on Monday morning, he said. “There were light to heavy rains in many parts of the Makkah region, including Meesan and Adham,” Sarhan said, adding that his department had not received any emergency calls for help during rains.
The Civil Defense said efforts were under way to find the eight missing people who were washed away in flash floods. The department rescued 121 citizens and residents in Riyadh on Monday, including eight families. —Arab News