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MENAFN - Arab News - 06/01/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) Normal life was disrupted in Jeddah on Sunday with several parts of the city experiencing light to moderate rainfall leading to chaos on the roads. Most schools were closed as a safety measure, but students of schools which were open for the mid-term exams had a tough time reaching their destinations.

Several areas like Prince Fawaz district in south Jeddah and adjoining areas as well as the low-lying areas in the eastern parts of the city also experienced power cuts.

East and North Jeddah had longer spells of the downpour than the western areas. Light showers had begun in many parts of the city on Saturday night itself, which increased in intensity in the early hours of Sunday.

Dark clouds gathered on the horizon again in the afternoon, and the pleasant weather saw large crowds heading toward the Corniche causing traffic snarls on the King's Road Sunday evening.

Traffic on the busy Jeddah-Makkah expressway crawled at a snail's pace due to wet roads besides malfunctioning of traffic signals in some areas in the morning. Additional traffic police patrols were positioned at several busy iersections to control vehicular movement.

Parents received text messages from their children's schools informing that the school would be closed on account of the bad weather. However, despite the rain, students did manage to reach their schools to take their examinations, and most schools reported good attendance. Those who couldn't make it today would be given a second chance, school managements said.

Many vehicles were streaked with slush from the ongoing works on sewage pipelines. The beautification work along road dividers was suspended because of the rain.

Civil defense spokesperson Capitan Saeed Sarhan said the department had received about 15 rain-related complaints from south Jeddah.
The Jeddah Municipality, stating that there was no damage to public property, said it had pumped 7,904,002 cubic meters of rainwater from 159 locations in the city.

Heavy downpour was also reported from Makkah, Taif and the surrounding areas which led to temporary closure of Hada and Shifa on the Makkah-Riyadh highway. They have since been reopened. Qassim region too had heavy rains on Sunday, according to reports.


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