Flash floods sweep Makkah as Jeddah braced for downpours

Weather warnings issued in both Saudi cities

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Umrah pilgrims to Makkah were greeted by thunderstorms and flooding on Friday as Jeddah braced for heavy rain.

Videos on social media showed downpours flooding buildings in Makkah and washing away cars in Saudi Arabia's holiest city.

The Saudi Press Agency said medium to heavy rain and winds may limit visibility and torrential rain may fall in parts of the Makkah, Madinah and Tabuk areas.

The National Center of Meteorology issued a weather warning in Makkah on Friday. It will remain active until 9pm.

The crisis and disaster management centre in the holy city warned residents not to leave their homes unless necessary.

“People must take care and not approach the sites where rainwater accumulates to ensure their safety,” it said.

Meanwhile, NCM raised the rain alert level in Jeddah to a warning.

Rain fell in separate parts of Jeddah governorate as cumulus clouds cover the sky over the coastal city.

Authorities in Jeddah said heavy rain was expected on Friday and asked residents to stay at home.

On Thursday, they prepared equipment and manpower to deal with any weather emergencies at the weekend.

The Jeddah municipality said 3,822 employees and 1,490 pieces of equipment were in place to deal with any problems caused by the rain.

The work teams were distributed across 16 sub-municipalities and 13 support centres.

Updated: December 23, 2022, 10:46 AM