Cairo: Education authorities in Mecca have suspended classes in all schools on Sunday for the second time in less than a month, citing forecast of rainy weather.
Based on reports from the National Centre for Meteorology (NCM) predicting rainfall, classes are suspended in schools of Mecca and affiliated governorates of Al Jamum, Al Kamil and Bahra, they said.
Instead, online learning will be conducted via the government platform Madrasty.
Likewise, the Mecca-based Umm Al Qura announced suspending in-person classes on Sunday in all its branches and shifting to distance learning, citing safety reasons after the NCM forecasts.
The NCM forecast in its weather report for Sunday the likelihood of continued rains ranging from medium to heavy, accompanied by hail showers and low-visibility dust winds, in the regions of Mecca as well as Jizan, Asir and Al Bahah in south-western Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi civil defence has advised vigilance and caution due to continued rainfall in most parts of the kingdom.
The new academic year began in Saudi Arabia on August 20 featuring three semesters.
Late last month, Mecca, home to Islam’s holiest site, experienced heavy rains and a fierce storm that prompted temporary closure of educational institutions and a shift to online learning.
Cleaning workers at the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site in Mecca, were seen in a viral video losing their balance and blown away due to gale force winds.
Another video showed a bolt of lightning striking the Clock Tower, a landmark building located in the vicinity of the mosque. No casualties were reported.