Saudi storm closes colleges, cuts fundamental street to Mecca

Heavy rains within the Saudi coastal metropolis of Jeddah on Thursday delayed flights, pressured faculty suspensions and closed the street to Mecca, Islam’s holiest metropolis, state media reported. 

Jeddah, a metropolis of roughly 4 million individuals positioned on the Crimson Sea, is sometimes called the “gateway to Mecca”, the place thousands and thousands carry out the hajj and umrah pilgrimages annually. 

Photographs posted to social media on Thursday confirmed standing water snarling site visitors in Jeddah and partially submerging some autos. 

The town’s King Abdulaziz Worldwide Airport mentioned that “resulting from climate situations, the departure of some flights has been delayed” and urged passengers to contact carriers for up-to-date schedules. 

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The official Saudi Press Company reported earlier than daybreak that colleges within the metropolis could be suspended as rains had been forecast to proceed all through the day. 

Faculties had been additionally closed within the close by cities of Rabigh and Khulais “to protect the security of female and male college students”, SPA mentioned. 

The dominion is in the midst of closing exams, but colleges had already been closed nationwide on Wednesday after King Salman declared a vacation following Saudi Arabia’s shock defeat of Argentina within the World Cup.

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Winter rainstorms and flooding happen virtually yearly in Jeddah, the place residents have lengthy decried poor infrastructure. 

Floods killed 123 individuals within the metropolis in 2009 and 10 extra two years later.