MADINA – Olaytha Misfer Al-Ahmadi appeared in a video on the Internet struggling for his life in the middle of the floods that hit Jeddah last month. The video is said to be that of a man drowning in the floodwaters. In fact, Al-Ahmadi survived, but lost his brother who was in the car with him when the floods swept them away. Al-Ahmadi narrated the story of what happened to him on that fateful day.
Al-Ahmadi said that he and his brother left Madina at 8 A.M. on “Black Wednesday” heading for Jeddah to pay their condolences to the family of a relative who had died. “It was raining which made us decide to go back to Madina afterwards and take our families to spend Eid in Tasha, a village southwest of Madina,” he said.
“We arrived at the Haramain Road east of Jeddah around noon, but about 150 meters from Al-Jami’a exit, we were forced to stop as there was a large number of cars and the traffic was not moving,” he said.
“Moments later, raging floodwaters hit the car forcing us to get out. Four people were standing by the car, me, my brother, and an officer carrying a child. The floods swept away my brother, then the officer and child, and finally me. I clung to the bumper and climbed on top of the car, unable to do anything except stay there,” he said.
“The stream of water started turning the car upside down and I was trying to move to the other side of the car but was forced under it. I tried to swim but the rush of floodwater was too strong. Then I must have fainted. I woke up two hours later to find myself wrapped in a blanket on the bed of a pick-up truck and heard a man beside me saying “Tashahhad” (Shahada.) I asked him about my brother, but he did not answer. He drove me to Al-Jami’a Hospital,” he said.
Al-Ahmadi called his family when he woke up in the hospital that night.
He said the man who rescued him was a National Guard officer named Sultan Al-Amri.
His nephew Osama found his father’s body at the morgue. He was sent there by the hospital when he asked about his father because no one with that name had been admitted. – Okaz/SG