77 dead after flooding in Saudi Arabia

Friday, November 27, 2009

The worst flooding in 27 years in Saudi Arabia has left at least 77 people dead, and dozens more could be missing. The floods came after torrential rains on Wednesday.

The rainstorms mainly affected western parts of the country, including the cities of Jeddah, Rabigh and Mecca, and the surrounding area. Inclement weather hampered the start of the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca; however, none of the dead people had been attending the event.

The deaths were mainly caused by collapsed homes and high waters, according to officials. Witnesses say many of the casualties had been trapped in vehicles. Many cars had been swept away and city roads were flooded, blocking traffic.

The Saudi Arabian Civil Defence Authority reported that emergency crews managed to rescue over 900 people.