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Jeddah floods blamed on poor urban planning — report

Non-existence of a drainage system resulted in shutting down several tunnels and intersections

Image Credit: Al Marsad
Gulf News

Manama: Jeddah’s floods seemed to be a design issue as high sidewalks established by Jeddah Municipality last year and the absence of a proper water drainage network were blamed for the increase of rainwater pools and flooded roads in the Red Sea city on Tuesday.

A report by the centre for crises and catastrophes in Makkah said that the high sidewalks kept the rainwater on roads and subsequently stalled traffic.

The situation was compounded as security organs, including traffic, civil defence and security patrols, were kept busy rescuing people trapped by the rain, removing cars from roads or dealing with people in their homes or in their workplaces, Saudi daily Okaz reported on Thursday.

The non-existence of a drainage system resulted in shutting down several tunnels and intersections after they were filled with rain water, the report said.

Social media users agreed that the high pavements were an issue, but they pointed that the municipality should have been better aware of what would happen in case of torrential rains.

One user suggested replacing tunnels that tended to fill up quickly with flyovers to avert floods and allow smoother flow of traffic in the city.

Most users said they wanted to see disciplinary action be taken against those who did not draw lessons from past floods to rectify the situation in the city before residents were made to suffer from losses and pains.

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