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Flash floods and torrential rains disrupt life in Saudi Arabia

1 min

Saudi Arabia has been grappling with severe weather conditions this week as persistent heavy rains have caused flash floods.

The National Meteorological Center has issued "red" alerts for Qassim and other regions including the Eastern Province, Riyadh, and Medina © Mena Today 

Saudi Arabia has been grappling with severe weather conditions this week as persistent heavy rains have caused flash floods, leading to the closure of schools in several provinces and major disruptions across the kingdom. The central province of Qassim was particularly hard hit, experiencing significant flooding that submerged vehicles and blocked roads.

In Qassim, one of the worst-affected areas, torrential rains poured down for seven hours straight, inundating the region with water levels rising over 10 centimeters in front of residential areas. 

The National Meteorological Center has issued "red" alerts for Qassim and other regions including the Eastern Province, Riyadh, and Medina, warning of intense rains accompanied by strong winds, reduced visibility, hail, and thunderstorms. Educational institutions in the Eastern Province and Riyadh have shifted to online learning in response to the weather conditions. 

Meanwhile, in Medina, authorities have been actively working to manage the impacts, with maintenance workers seen repairing electricity and removing water from affected schools.

While Riyadh experienced soaked roads, the capital's traffic flow remained largely unaffected. This resilience contrasts sharply with the recurring flooding issues in Jeddah, a major city on the Red Sea, where residents frequently criticize the infrastructure's inability to handle seasonal rains effectively. Historically, Jeddah has suffered devastating floods, including incidents in 2019 that resulted in 123 deaths and another in 2021 with 10 fatalities.

This month's severe weather is not isolated to Saudi Arabia; neighboring Gulf countries have also been hit hard. Oman and the United Arab Emirates reported 25 fatalities due to the storms, with the latter experiencing record rainfall levels. 

Scientists from the World Weather Attribution network suggest that climate change is the most likely cause of these unprecedented rain events, signaling a growing environmental challenge for the region.

As Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbors contend with the increasing frequency and intensity of such weather events, the focus on improving infrastructure and emergency response capabilities becomes more critical. 

The ongoing impact of climate change remains a pressing concern, necessitating both regional and global efforts to mitigate its effects and better prepare for future challenges.

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