Two dead as heavy rains lash Gulf
Riyadh, November 18, 2013
At least two people have reportedly died as heavy rains lashed much of the Gulf yesterday (November 17), a report said.
Foggy conditions, low visibility caused by dust storms, and rains resulted in disruption of road traffic amidst forecasts of further unstable weather, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
A Yemeni girl was swept away by floodwaters in Saudi Arabia while an Indian worker died in Oman.
The girl was swept away in front of her father as they tried to wade to safety, according to civil defence officials in Riyadh.
She was reportedly travelling with her father in their car when they were forced to stop and get off as the waters of Wadi Namar were too dangerous to cross by vehicle.
In Oman, the Public Authority of Civil Defence and Ambulance recovered the body of an Indian expatriate worker who went missing on Friday night after heavy rains lashed northern suburbs of Muscat.
According to sources, two workers at a site in Al Khodh area north of Muscat were washed away in a flash flood.
One of them caught a tree branch and was saved by a passerby, but the other was pulled by strong wadi currents, reports quoted a witness as saying.
It was reported earlier that three people had died but only two have been confirmed dead. Many remain missing.
In Saudi Arabia, two men and one woman were reported missing in the floods in Riyadh.
"There were 5,015 reports of incidents, of which 4,968 were in Riyadh and 47 in the provinces," Captain Mohammad Al Hammadi, spokesman for the Saudi civil defence, said.
"Ninety-eight trapped people were rescued," he added.
Civil defence teams had recovered 148 vehicles that had been submerged in water. The rain reportedly caused damage to public and private property as well.
Schools in Riyadh and some of its suburbs were closed yesterday as authorities worked on reopening roads shut down due to heavy rains. The education ministry said it decided to keep the schools closed.
Road traffic came to a standstill in many of the capital's roads, in particular underpasses where high levels of rain were recorded. In some areas to the north, power was cut off.
Road contractors have come under fire for the damages, with people accusing them of not complying with the required standards and criteria.
Qatar also experienced mild rainfall.
In the UAE, showers were reported in parts of Sharjah, Fujairah and Abu Dhabi. Dust storms were also reported by residents in Dubai.
Bahrain recorded 44 car accidents within three hours – 6am to 9am – yesterday in the first major downpour of the winter, prompting authorities to call on motorists to be extra cautious in the rainy weather.
Today will also remain cloudy with chances of thundery showers, say weathermen. – TradeArabia News Service
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