Video: Major flood in 'Wadi Al Hajar' in Oman disrupts traffic amid heavy rains
Illustrative image. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Cairo: Authorities in the Saudi port city of Jeddah have said a fine of SR30,000 will be imposed for encroaching on gullies as several areas in the kingdom are bracing for rainfall.

Last November, Jeddah was hit by heavy rains resulting in crippling floods. At the time, downpours caused flash floods in Jeddah, prompting closure of schools, delaying flights hampering traffic and stranding cars, bringing back to memory massive, deadly flooding that battered the city in 2009.

The city’s mayoralty this week warned that a fine of up to SR30,000 will be imposed on encroachers of rainwater gullies.

The kingdom’s civil defence authorities, meanwhile, called for exercising vigilance and caution as well as keeping distance from flooding sites, swamps and wadis (valleys) due to risks in view of forecasts of thunder rains starting from Wednesday until Sunday.

According to the civil defence, the Mecca region in western Saudi Arabia will be affected by medium to torrential rains that will result in floods, hail showers and dust-laden strong winds.

These areas include Mecca, Taif, Al Jamum, Bahra and Al Qunfudhah as well as Asir and Jazan in south-western Saudi Arabia. Education authorities in Asir suspended classes on Wednesday in the region due to weather forecasts.

Drizzles to medium rains and dust storms are, in the meantime, expected in the Riyadh region.

Last week, Mecca, home to Islam’s holiest site, experienced heavy rains and a fierce storm that prompted temporary closure of educational institutions and 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.