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Saudi storm closes colleges, cuts important highway to Mecca

Heavy rains within the Saudi coastal metropolis of Jeddah on Thursday delayed flights, compelled college suspensions and closed the highway to Mecca, Islam’s holiest metropolis, state media reported. 

Jeddah, a metropolis of roughly 4 million individuals positioned on the Crimson Sea, is sometimes called the “gateway to Mecca”, the place thousands and thousands carry out the hajj and umrah pilgrimages every year. 

Pictures posted to social media on Thursday confirmed standing water snarling site visitors in Jeddah and partially submerging some autos. 

The town’s King Abdulaziz Worldwide Airport stated that “attributable to climate situations, the departure of some flights has been delayed” and urged passengers to contact carriers for up-to-date schedules. 

ALSO READ: World’s tallest building engulfed as Mideast sandstorms hit UAE

The official Saudi Press Company reported earlier than daybreak that colleges within the metropolis can be suspended as rains have been forecast to proceed all through the day. 

Faculties have been additionally closed within the close by cities of Rabigh and Khulais “to protect the protection of female and male college students”, SPA stated. 

The dominion is in the midst of closing exams, but colleges had already been closed nationwide on Wednesday after King Salman declared a vacation following Saudi Arabia’s shock defeat of Argentina within the World Cup.

ALSO READ: Latest sandstorm brings Iraq to standstill

Winter rainstorms and flooding happen nearly yearly in Jeddah, the place residents have lengthy decried poor infrastructure. 

Floods killed 123 individuals within the metropolis in 2009 and 10 more two years later.

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