Baha/Asir – As thermometers in other parts of the Kingdom have recorded high temps, the southern part has been blessed with rain. But at a price.
Torrential rains pouring down on Al-Baha and Asir regions accompanied with gutsy winds on Friday afternoon halted traffic and destroyed signboards, and almost everything on the way.
Power poles were toppled and trees were uprooted. Lightning caused the death of an unknown number of sheep and burned down an electric generator.
Rainfall-triggered landslide occurred in the lower part of Al-Baha mountainous descent, prompting the police to halt traffic on the roads leading to the descent for hours to clear the way.
Police chief Maj. Gen. Saleh Ibrahim Al-Olayan supervised the safety operations on the roads to ensure a safe trip for motorists.
Security and traffic patrols and civil defense teams worked to full capacity following the rainfall in Al-Baha, Baljurashi, Bani Hassan, Al-Far’a, Maashouqa, Baidah, Nikhal, Rakh and Jarab.
The rain was accompanied by a little snow capping the mountains and covering the valley areas and the forests of Al-Zaraeb and Khayrah, which tempted many to go out to capture the event in memorial photos.
Capt. Jam’an Al-Ghamdi, spokesman at Al-Baha Civil Defense, said that the field teams rescued six people, including two men and two women whose car got trapped in the flood water.
Another citizen in Karad Al-Haet and a Pakistani national in Nakhal Valley were resuced.
In Kheetan Valley in the northern part of Al-Aradeyah, southwest of Baha, a family escaped certain death when the floods water surprised them while they were on a picnic in the valley.
Their car was swept away by the flood.
Many cars lined up amid heavy rains and violent winds waiting for the water level in the valley to go down so they could go across to their villages and towns.
As a result of the burning down of an electric generator in the village of Al-Homran in Baljurashi, a power outage engulfed Al-Shifa district, leaving it in darkness for more than 13 hours.
In Asir area, lightning cut off electricity in Al-Nimas and north Tannoumah for four straight hours. Spokesman to the media at the Civil Defense Department Maj. Muhammad Abdulrahim Al-Asemi said that the department’s teams rescued a citizen and his wife who got trapped in flood waters in Bahwan Valley.
In the central region of the Kingdom, a sandstorm swept across Afif governorate on Saturday morning, minimizing visibility and obstructing traffic. Picnickers were forced to return to their homes while Afif hospital was crammed with patients with asthma and allergy.
The storms extended to Al-Asiah governorate in Qassim on Saturday, forcing motorists to pull over for the storm to subside.
Another violent sandstorm blew across Taif-Riyadh highway and centers located north of Taif governorate on Saturday, bringing visibility to almost zero level and forcing motorists to pull over as well. – Okaz