Tuesday December 06, 2022

Two dead as storm closes schools in Saudi Arabia

November 25, 2022

RIYADH: At least two people died on Thursday as heavy rains hit western Saudi Arabia, including the coastal city of Jeddah, delaying flights and forcing schools to close, officials said.

“Two deaths have been recorded so far, and we call on everyone not to go out unless necessary,” the Makkah regional government said on its Twitter page. The Makkah region includes Jeddah, the kingdom´s second-largest city of roughly four million people, and Makkah city, the holiest city in Islam where millions perform the Haj and umrah pilgrimages each year.

The road connecting the two, which many pilgrims use to reach Makkah, was closed on Thursday once the rains began, state media reported, although it was later reopened, authorities said.

The state-affiliated Al-Ekhbariya channel showed footage of worshippers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah circling the Kaaba -- the cubic structure that is the focal point of Islam -- under a heavy downpour.