Bisha received hail early on Thursday. Image Credit: Sabq news portal

Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s civil defence authorities have called for “vigilance and caution” during the Eid Al Fitr feast, anticipated to start Friday, due to expected rains in several parts of the kingdom.

The Saudi National Centre for Meteorology (NCM) has forecast rains in most areas of the kingdom until Sunday. The centre expected moderate to heavy rains in Riyadh region.

“Everyone should observe vigilance and caution, and abide by instructions,” the civil defence said.

In response, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs has given directives that the Eid prayers, offered on the morning of the first day of the Eid, should be held inside mosques and not be held in outdoor prayer sites in areas where rains are expected.

Saudi Arabia has experienced since the start of Ramadan a rainy weather, expected to continue until the third day of Eid Al Fitr, Uqail Al Uqail, a weather analyst at NCM said.

He told Saudi television Al Ekhbariya that the rains will be “more concentrated” on southern and south-western heights as well as in central areas including Riyadh and Al Qasim as well as H’ail north-western Saudi Arabia and its eastern coast.

Meanwhile, municipal authorities in the holy city of Mecca urged locals and visitors of the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, to constantly follow up weather forecasts and heed official alerts on rainfall.

People have been advised to avoid accumulated rainwater sites and electric outlets in public places. People were also asked not to run the risk of moving through flash floods and to keep distance from trees and billboards that could tumble due to strong winds.

Seven rescued after car swept away

Large number of Muslim worshippers are in Mecca since the start of Ramadan to pray at the Grand Mosque and perform Umrah or lesser pilgrimage.

Heavy rains and hail showers early Thursday hit the Bisha governorate in south-western Saudi Arabia where valleys have flowed with rainwaters.

Large parts of north Bisha were draped in white due to the hail fall, encouraging locals to go outdoors to enjoy the scene, Saudi media reported.

The civil defence said its personnel had rescued seven people after their car had been swept away in a valley in the governorate of Dawadmi, part of Riyadh region.

The seven were in good health when rescued, the service added.