Natural Disasters

Deluge in the desert: Saudi Arabia’s devastating floods wreak havoc

Heavy rains that started on November 10 will continue to lash the kingdom in the next 2 days. More than 30 people have died across the country so far

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Monday 26 November 2018
A Jeddah resident photographed during heavy rainfall in the city during 2011. Credit: Flickr A Jeddah resident photographed during heavy rainfall in the city during 2011. Credit: Flickr

The devastating floods that have been wreaking havoc in Saudi Arabia since November 10 will continue for the next two days, weather experts say.

Saudi daily Arab News quoted Mansour Almazroui, director of the Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research at the Jeddah-based King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) as saying that light to heavy rains would continue to occur in the kingdom, including in capital Riyadh.

These conditions will stretch across northern, southwestern and eastern parts of Saudi, likely causing flash floods in these regions, he say.

The rains have damaged houses, leaving 30 people dead. At least 4,000 have been evacuated from flood-affected areas.

Meanwhile, another rainfall system is likely to approach northern/northeastern parts of Saudi Arabia by end-November, causing rain and thunderstorms in some places, Almazroui said.

The country's General Directorate of Civil Defense has urged citizens and expatriates to take utmost precaution. Picnickers and desert travellers have been warned to stay away from valleys and reefs during heavy rain or flash floods, and not to risk crossing flood passages or intersections.

Neighbouring Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have also seen adverse weather conditions in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Kuwait was forced to briefly suspend all departing flights due to bad weather conditions.

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