New floods wrack Jeddah

King Abdullah orders probe into causes of flood

The floods have raised fears of a repeat of 2009 disaster
The floods have raised fears of a repeat of 2009 disaster

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Jeddah has once again been wracked by floods with power cut off and sewage flowing down the streets and into residents’ homes.

The floods have led to a rare public debate about the week infrastructure in the coastal city, with residents questioning why more hasn’t been done since the 2009 floods in the city, which killed an estimated 120 people.

"We are flooded. It's bad. The whole first floor of my house is filled with water and one of my couches is floating in the living room," one woman in Jeddah told Reuters.

"Why weren't we warned about this? There are helicopters rescuing people and cars floating in the streets," she said.

The Saudi minister of the interior Prince Naif told Arab News today that an urgent meeting was being held to discuss how to respond to the floods. "The meeting will discuss all aspects of flooding in the Makkah province and how to deal with similar situations in other provinces," he said.

He said the meeting was called on the directives of King Abdullah who wanted a complete study on Jeddah's rainwater drainage system. "We'll see what we can do immediately to correct the situation," he said.

Despite Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth, it’s second biggest city still has no functioning sewage system. All the city’s waste was stored in a lake close to the city, but when waste flowed from the lake into Jeddah during the 2009 flood King Abdullah ordered it to be drained.

Currently waste water is stored in tanks and collected by sewage trucks.

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