Jeddah flood death toll reaches 77


Twenty-one bodies, those of Saudis, were handed over to their families for burial. Other bodies were still being identified. Civil Defense teams are continuing their search for survivors and for other bodies. The death toll is likely to rise.

Al-Amri said the areas most affected by the rains and the floods were the districts to the east of the Jeddah-Makkah Expressway, including Al-Muntazahat, Quaizah, Al-Adl, Al-Sulaimaniyah and Al-Jamaa. He said Al-Harmain Expressway was the most affected and added that work was under way to reopen it.

Al-Amri said the Directorate General of Civil Defense had authorized the furnished apartments in Jeddah to accommodate families whose homes have collapsed or were damaged by the deluge. Al-Amri revealed that so far about 20 families had been accommodated by the Civil Defense in furnished apartments. He said an authorization letter from the Civil Defense must be obtained to get temporary housing.

Spokesman for Jeddah municipality Ahmad Al-Ghamdi said the sewage lake was safe and the floods did not affect the dam.

He assured the residents of Jeddah that all measures were taken to protect the dam and urged them not to worry about the possibility of it bursting out. If the dam were to be breached and broken, a large section of East Jeddah could be at risk of becoming flooded by raw, sewage.

According to the figure of the Civil Defense, the water in the so-called Musk Lake rose by 90 centimeters while figures obtained from the Meteorology and Environment Protection Agency put the level of the rise at 72.5 centimeters.

According to Undersecretary of Jeddah Municipality for Construction and Projects Ibrahim Kutubkhanah, the city was in need of about SR3 billion to implement a network of water drainage projects. A lack of adequate infrastructure to deal with the occasional downpour is the primary cause of the city’s flooding.

“Only 30 percent of the water drainage projects have been executed so far,” he said.

He said the municipality was giving maximum priority to the drainage schemes and had earmarked SR294 million in its budget last year to implement 19 percent of these projects.

“Work is now continuing on 37 water drainage projects at the cost of close to SR1 billion,” he added.

Meanwhile, director of Health Affairs Department in Jeddah Dr. Sami Badawood announced that the danger on the buildings of general hospitals in the city from the crisis of rain and floods was over. He said only Rabigh General Hospital stopped giving services because of the damages it had suffered.

Badawood said condition of King Abdulaziz University Hospital, which was flooded with water, has been rectified and added that the hospital is functioning with full capacity now and is receiving patients and providing services to them.


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