Tabuk making rapid recovery after rains

A heavily flooded road in Tabuk is shown in this file picture contributed by Arab News reader Yahya Rajabi during a destructive downpour in the northwestern region on Tuesday.

A heavily flooded road in Tabuk is shown in this file picture contributed by Arab News reader Yahya Rajabi during a destructive downpour in the northwestern region on Tuesday.

Tabuk and its neighboring areas which were hit hard by heavy rain on Tuesday, are rapidly recovering with authorities working around the clock to drain accumulated rain water from the streets.

Civil defense teams rescued nearly 200 people although there was a report of one casualty in a tragic incident where a seven-year-old child died in the Abu Sabha neighborhood of the city due to electrocution from a lamppost. The incident occurred on Tuesday evening according to a Red Crescent official.

Although there was no rain on Wednesday, schools remained closed as a preventive measure and for maintenance works to be carried out owing to the downpour on the previous day.

The building of the Indian International School in Taif has been partially damaged due to the rain and the school remained closed on Wednesday and Thursday for maintenance works.

“We evacuated 186 people on Tuesday due to the rains including several families using boats and ambulances in addition to regular vans,” said Col. Mamdouh Al-Anzi, spokesperson of Civil Defense in Tabuk region on Wednesday.

He added that they had rescued a family of five from the Al-Wajh governorate and shifted them to a shelter in Tabuk and helped another family of eight members from a collapsing house in Tabuk, moving them to a similar shelter.

The civil defense official urged people to exercise extra caution due to the bad weather conditions in the province.

Tabuk Municipality said that it had drained one million cubic meters of rain water from the streets in 14 hours. According to municipal officials, some 100 tankers, 17 water extraction pumps of various sizes, 250 workers and 30 supervisors working in the operation to drain rain water from different locations. The municipality also identified 21 locations in the city where there was a high accumulation of water and said that it was closely monitoring the relief operations.

In an interesting twist, the Tabuk Municipality has blamed the Finance Ministry for not releasing the required funds to complete the rain drainage system in the city. It has also accused the ministry of withholding funds for projects outside its jurisdiction.

“We carried out a study to cope with the floods and rain water drainage system five years ago. Since then, we have only received a part of the funds allocated for the execution of the project while the budget allocation is insufficient for the speedy completion of the project,” said Mayor Mohammed Al-Amri on Wednesday.

He said that there is an area of 92 km around Tabuk city where the drainage project has yet to be implemented.


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