Flooding causes havoc in Saudi region


Yahoo, 31-12-2010 08:40:53


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Saudi Floods

Saudi men push a car stuck in a flooded street following heavy rain in

the Red Sea port city of Jeddah on December 30, 2010

 

 

MECCA - Flash flooding killed a man and three children in the Mecca region of Saudi Arabia on Thursday, as waist-high water snarled traffic in the nearby Red Sea port of Jeddah, where 123 people died in flooding last year.

 

The governor of Mecca, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, reported the deaths and added that another 200 people had been rescued from flood waters, many by helicopter.

 

In Jeddah, several major roads in the east and south were inundated and traffic came to virtual halt after dozens of cars broke down, according to an AFP correspondent.

 

Authorities said the flooding had caused no casualties, but many residents found their homes surrounded by water, which in some districts was knee-high and in others up to the waist.

 

Jeddah, the kingdom’s second-largest city after Riyadh, was hit by a flood last November that killed 123 people and caused extensive damage.

 

According to official figures, thousands of families lost their homes in that flood, which destroyed about 11,000 buildings and as many vehicles.

 

Last May, King Abdullah ordered legal action against officials and contractors for their alleged failures, following an investigation.

 

The probe focussed on factors that had amplified the flooding, including inadequate drainage and uncontrolled construction in and around the city.

 

The November floods were followed by an unprecedented Internet campaign by residents who complained of corruption and bad urban planning.

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