Weather ‘code red’: Saudi Arabia braced for more thunder and rain

Updated 12 November 2018
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Weather ‘code red’: Saudi Arabia braced for more thunder and rain

  • Authorities issued a “code red” warning of heavy thunderstorms and dust storms in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia
  • Forecasters expect overnight mist and fog throughout the Kingdom

JEDDAH: Is it wet enough for you? Well it’s about to get even wetter.

As the mopping up continued after torrential rain in Saudi Arabia, weather forecasters warned of more to come on Wednesday.

The General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection (PME) issued a “code red” warning of heavy thunderstorms and dust storms in the eastern region including Hafr Albatin, Alkhafhi and other cities, continuing until Friday.

The PME expects thunder and rain in the Eastern Province, Riyadh, Qassim, Aljouf, Tabuk, and some parts of Hail city in the northwest, with the possibility of snow in elevated areas.  There may also be thunderstorms in Najran, Jazan, Asir, Baha and Makkah region, including the coastal areas, with limited visibility because of dust storms.

Forecasters expect overnight mist and fog throughout the Kingdom, except on the coasts.  

Ten regions have been affected by a series of torrential downpours that began last week. Rain lashed down in Jazan and surrounding areas on Monday, and the PME urged people to avoid valleys and to be wary of surface water.

The Saudi Electricity Company apologized to residents in Rafhaa after power cuts and interruptions to the electricity supply caused by the adverse weather. 

Jeddah Municipality removed 123,000 cubic meters of surface water after heavy rainfall. Water was cleared from more than 400 locations, including 248 main streets and 150 service roads.

In Kuwait, meanwhile, floods and torrential rain closed government offices, schools and the main stock exchange — and cost a government official his job.

The downpour started on Monday night and continued into the early hours of Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah fired roads and transport head Ahmad Al-Hassan after the rain brought parts of the country to a standstill.


Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

Updated 26 May 2019
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Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

  • Umrah trip held as part of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative 

JEDDAH: Several Muslims with special needs have benefited from a special Umrah pilgrimage organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to statement from the ministry, the Umrah trip, was held on the 17th of Ramadan  (May 22) under the “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative in partnership with Sawt Alasm association in Jeddah.

A busload of 20 people with special needs were accompanied by 12 volunteers of Sadiq Almutamir, including sign language interpreters for the deaf pilgrims. 

The first stop was at Kuday area in Makkah, where pilgrims received the special gifts of Sadiq Almutamir, supported by the Establishment of Motawifs of South East Asian Pilgrims. Next was their arrival at the Grand Mosque, wherein the pilgrims performed Umrah, enjoyed Iftar meals, and received souvenirs from Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association. 

Volunteers assisted the pilgrims by communicating with them, providing instructions and directions in addition to sharing their feelings with the support of the sign language interpreters. 

Sadiq Almutamir also accompanied pilgrims during the performance of Umrah, providing wheelchairs for the elderly, sharing breakfast, and learning about their impressions of performing Umrah for their first time. 

Sadiq Almutamir is one of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s initiatives in Makkah’s Cultural Forum. It focuses on promoting the culture of giving and cooperation between the Saudi youth as well as elevating the volunteering services provided to Umrah pilgrims in order to enrich their experiences. It also provides optional tours to visit attractions, monuments, and places contribute to enriching experiences of Mutamirs and immortalizing beautiful memories in the Kingdom.

Launched late last year, the initiative aims to develop the spirit of volunteerism among Muslims and to invest in the youth by engaging young men and women in service and social responsibility.

“It focuses as well on improving the efficiency level of services provided to pilgrims, promoting the culture of volunteering, helping elderly and special needs’ people to perform Umrah rituals, and finally contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 of reaching 1 million volunteers annually,” ministry statement said.

The trip was held in cooperation with the Western Fleet Transport, in coordination with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims’ transportation affairs and Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association.