Two dead in flash floods in Jeddah

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 17, 2015 12:01 PM

RIYADH (Reuters) - At least two people have died in flash floods in Saudi Arabia's second city of Jeddah after heavy rain, the country's civil defense said on Tuesday.

It urged residents to stay indoors and said schools would remain closed on Wednesday.

Flooding is politically sensitive in Jeddah, where previous incidents have prompted widespread anger over the perceived failure of local and national government to build suitable defenses and to prevent illegal housing developments in risky areas.

Footage and photographs shown on Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television pictured cars being swept along Jeddah streets and people using boats to navigate districts of the city.

The two deaths were caused by electrocution from a lamp post as people attempted to cross a flooded street. Two children have also been reported missing in northern Saudi Arabia.

Heavy rain struck other western, northern and central parts of Saudi Arabia, including Mecca and Medina, Hail and Arar, the civil defense said. Wet weather is forecast to continue in coming days.

(Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by Gareth Jones)