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Riyadh civil defence hits out at Twitter taunts

Religious scholar questions department’s ability to deal with inclement weather

Gulf News

Manama: The Civil Defence department in Riyadh has rejected remarks posted by a religious scholar on his Twitter account sarcastically accusing its servicemen of incompetence.

Shaikh Adel Al Kalbani, commenting on the torrential rains in the city of Tabuk, said that he would buy a bathing suit “in case it rained in Riyadh”.

“I am now in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, but I will look for a chance to go to Dubai to buy a bathing suit in case it rains in Riyadh and people could drown,” Al Kalbani posted.

When a follower on the microblogging site told him that he too wanted a swimwear, Al Kalbani suggested providing swimming trunks for all Riyadh residents.

“What about buying a swimwear for every Saudi to ensure they do not drown. We suggest that we also provide swimming suits for all Civil Defence servicemen because it has become clear that they are the main reason the servicemen could not rescue people,” he posted.

However, the Civil Defence was not amused by the remark.

“The Saudi national called Adel Al Kalbani should focus on the field in which he has specialised and not on other matters,” Mohammad Al Habail Al Hammadi, the spokesman for the directorate, said, quoted by Saudi news site Sabq on Tuesday. “He should not have doubted the efforts exerted by the Civil Defence and the measures it adopts to protect citizens and expatriates. Our teams in Riyadh are ready to confront all rain-related emergencies based on well-laid plans and thanks to the best equipment and highly qualified personnel,” he said.