Civil Defense hero honored; floods wreak havoc

Hospitalized Corp. Zaid Al-Zahrani and, right, rescuers retrieve a vehicle stuck in Jazan rainwaters.

Hospitalized Corp. Zaid Al-Zahrani and, right, rescuers retrieve a vehicle stuck in Jazan rainwaters.

Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif has promoted a Civil Defense official for rescuing several people in the flash floods that hit Al-Baha over the weekend.

Corp. Said Al-Zahrani, who had been on vacation but had reported for duty when he heard of the floods, has been promoted to a higher rank in recognition of his bravery. Al-Zahrani has also been given three months’ extra pay and a cash reward, besides a medal for his dedication, the SPA reported.

Al-Zahrani, who was hospitalized after sustaining injuries in the rescue efforts, rescued several people stranded in a valley.

Heavy rain and flash floods also hit Jazan on Friday, inundating houses and washing away cars.

Many residents in Sibya were forced to evacuate their houses and others were carried to safety, said Capt. Yahya Al-Qahtani, Jazan Civil Defense spokesman, who also said that the heavy rain had caused valleys to overflow into nearby villages.

Civil Defense teams rescued two people trapped inside their car, while a third person managed to escape death by getting out of his vehicle before it got washed away.

“The vehicle that we rescued the two people from is still stuck in the valley’s flood path because we could not remove it due to high water levels,” he added.

A Civil Defense official, meanwhile, was struck by lightning as he was getting ready to embark on a rescue operation. “The officer is being treated at a local hospital,” he said.

“Citizens were put up at furnished apartments and a committee made an inventory of damages and launched an investigation into the floods.”

A school bus that got stuck was pulled out without any casualties.


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