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Saudi Civil Defense Assesses Damage to Jeddah After Heavy Rains

Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defense Department started assessing the damage to Jeddah after heavy rains caused flooding that killed ten people in the kingdom’s second-largest city.

Three people were still missing and 114 were injured during the flooding in the Red Sea city, Mohammed al-Qarni, General Major in the Civil Defense Department in Jeddah, said in an interview today. The government relocated 1,700 families to temporary housing after their property was damaged, he said.

Heavy rains raised water levels in Jeddah to 111 millimeters (4.4 inches) on Jan. 26, according to Mansour al-Mazroui, head of the meteorology department at King Abdul Aziz University. That compared with a peak of 90 millimeters in November 2009 when flooding left at least 123 people dead in the city.

King Abdullah warned after the flooding in 2009 that government departments will be held accountable for inadequate preparation for flooding and poor rescue efforts. Heavy rains displaced more than 22,000 people and destroyed 8,092 homes and 7,143 cars in and around the western city after the November 2009 floods, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

The Company for Cooperative Insurance said it had estimated losses of 30 million riyals ($8 million) to factories, warehouses, shopping mall projects and roads from the flooding in November 2009.

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