Schools closed in Saudi Arabia as heavy rain and floods forecast

Remote learning in place as authorities warn against travel after stormy weather predicted for most of the kingdom

Rain falls in Saudi Arabia's Umluj governorate in early April. SPA
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Schools in several areas of Saudi Arabia switched to online classes on Monday after authorities warned of heavy rain and possible floods this week.

The Ministry of Education said in-person classes would be suspended at all schools in Jeddah, Madinah, Rabigh and Khulais, with lessons to be held through the Madrasati remote-learning platform.

The University of Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz University and Umm Al Qura University have postponed scheduled exams until further notice and asked students to remain at home.

The General Directorate of Civil Defence said most parts of the kingdom would experience moderate to torrential thundershowers, accompanied by strong winds, until Friday. Affected areas include Asir, Baha, Makkah and Madinah, Jazan, Qassim, Jawf, Hail, Tabuk, Northern Borders, Riyadh and the Eastern Province.

The National Centre for Meteorology forecast rainfall of between 10mm and 50mm during the week and issued weather alerts for several areas. Spokesman Hussein Al Qahtani advised people to avoid travel by land unless necessary and called for greater caution due to expected poor visibility, hail and flash floods.

Stormy weather is expected across the Arabian Peninsula his week, with Oman reporting heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds, hail and flooding on Monday. Heavy rain, thunder and lightning have also been forecast for parts of the UAE this week.

Twenty people died in Oman and four were killed in the Emirates when a series of storms battered the Gulf nations earlier this month. The emirates of Dubai and Sharjah were struck by four waves of rainstorms that caused widespread flooding and disrupted daily life.

Updated: April 29, 2024, 9:18 AM