Rare rain causes flooding in Riyadh

In a rare occurrence, a severe storm caused flooding in Riyadh and led to traffic snarls on Wednesday. All schools were shut in the Saudi Arabia’s capital due to the storm. This came about one month after rare heavy rain hit most areas of the United Arab Emirates on March 10.

The storm had struck during Tuesday evening’s rush hour. It had subsided by Wednesday but some roads were still inundated.

Enforcing its emergency plan to deal with flooding, a spokesman for the municipal council, Mohamed al-Shwayman, urged residents not to gather in affected areas “for the sake of taking pictures and videos, putting their lives at risk.”

There were many kilometres long traffic jams along at least one major thoroughfare and many vehicles broke down as the deluge flooded city streets.

The storm and rain events in Riyadh. This desert city normally sees searing temperatures and only occasional bursts of rain.

According to a report, at least one university, the Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, had also suspended classes.
In the kingdom’s southwest, classes were suspended in the Asir region “due to weather conditions.”

In March, heavy to moderate rain had hit most areas of the United Arab Emirates, causing closure of schools, stock market and suspension of flights on Thursday.

Rain was quite well spread as it fell in the northern Emirates in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, and other parts of UAE, mostly in the inland areas of the Eastern Region.