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City of Jeddah’s Flood: Cause and Disastrous Effects Essay

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Introduction

Jeddah is a city in Saudi Arabia found in the western region. and the it is a flat, low- lying ground next to the Red Sea. Climatically, Jeddah has arid climatic condition with generally sparse rainfall that is normally experienced in December in small quantities. There has been significant hail and thunderstorms in the past (Farlex, par 2).

Cause of Jeddah Flooding and Effects

It was joy for Jeddah residents on 25th November 2009 when the city started experiencing rainfall. However it turned out to be disastrous after nine hours of heavy rainfall resulted into huge flooding. The downpour grounded the whole city with only two days left to Eid holidays and the number of dead and missing people rose to hundreds. More than five hundred (500) people died and other hundreds of residents could not be accounted for. Transport infrastructure, vehicles and the city’s old buildings were not spared too (Baxter, par. 2). Just to mention but a few of the effects, Jamia Bridge on the Haramain Highway in eastern part of Jeddah disintegrated. Furthermore a section of the highway which connected Makkah and King Abdul Aziz Airport collapsed bringing to a halt transport activities. Al-Tawfiq, Al-Ajawid, Al-Samir, Al-Raghamah and Abruq eastern regions were disconnect from rest of the city. This heavy downpour led to thousands of pilgrims being stranded in buses as they headed to Makkah from Jeddah. The rate of accident shot up forcing some road stretches to be closed. For instance, 80-km stretch on Jeddah-Makkah Highway was inaccessible (Jumbojet, par. 2).

Houses in most parts of eastern Jeddah were flooded with water, compelling residents to seek refuge on roofs and upper floors. However, most hit by the flood was King Abdulaziz University (KAU). The massive flood demolished communication facilities and a lot of university learning equipments. For example, hospital equipment, nanotechnology laboratory apparatus and most of the animals used to carry out research were destroyed. What’s more, medical research facility and some of its research work dating back to 30 years were not spared. In total the King Abdul-Aziz University suffered destruction of property translating to SR1.6bn ($427m). On the campus fraternity alone, on 25th December, forty (40) lives were lost and further 76 corpse retrieved on Monday (Baxter, par. 4).

Government Rescue

As claimed by Jeddah residents, government response was slow apparently due to poor communication as most of them tried to reach out to Civil Defense but in vain. For example, a mother in Al-Raghamah attempted to call Civil Defense but only to find a busy signal from the authority (Jumbojet, par. 5). To make the matters worse, there was a black out in regions such as Makkah, Jeddah and Madina as reported by Saudi Electricity Company(SEC) due to flooding as transformers were drowned. We see government helping hand later when Civil Defense set out one hundred and twenty (120) rescue groups throughout Jeddah city, among them eight teams were deployed in Jeddah’s famous downtown region as said by Col. Muhammad Al-Qarni who the Jeddah Civil Defense Department chief (Jumbojet, par. 6). Unfortunately, the city’s main intersections were massively flooded with damaged traffic lights causing heavy traffic jam thereby hampering rescue mission.

With more than 1,000 workers, the Jeddah city council authority brought in 130 water tanks to suck out water from Jeddah streets as said by Faisal Al-Shawali, who was in charge of roads at Jeddah Mayoralty. A number of massively flooded villages along the coast north of Jeddah regions were evacuated.

Conclusion

Following heavy downpour on 25th November in the city of Jeddah, over 500 lives were lost and millions worth of property destroyed. We see the government tried to rescue the victim but the mission was hampered by inaccessibility of roads. As a result of this, rainwater project was started and 70 percent is done to prevent future disasters.

Works Cited

Baxter, Elsa. Jeddah Floods Cause $427 Damage at Saudi University. 2009. Web.

Farlex. Jeddah. 2009. Web.

JumboJet. Vbulleting. 2009.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'City of Jeddah’s Flood: Cause and Disastrous Effects'. 1 December.

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