Saudi Arabia – Severe Floods Hit Jeddah After 179mm of Rain in 6 Hours

Severe flash flooding struck in western parts of Saudi Arabia after torrential rain on 24 November 2022. The city of Jeddah in Mecca Province recorded 179 mm of rain in 6 hours. At least 2 fatalities have been reported as a result of floods in the city.

Police help motorists in flooded streets of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, November 2022. Photo: Government of Mecca

Flooded streets caused havoc in the city of Jeddah in Mecca Province on 24 November. Police and Civil Protection were called to rescue drivers and remove stranded vehicles. Flights were delayed at King Abdulaziz International Airport and several homes were left without electricity. Authorities closed schools and universities in affected areas of the Province.

In a statement, the government of Mecca Province said 2 people had died in the floods in Jeddah and urged residents to remain indoors unless for urgent needs.

Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Meteorology said the city of Jeddah recorded 179 mm of rain between 08:00 and 14:00 on 24 November. The total exceeded the amount of rainfall registered in 2009 when over 120 people died in flash floods in the city. Around 90 mm of rain fell in a 4 hour period on 25 November 2009.

According to figures from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the mean total rainfall for November in the city is 23 mm. The annual mean total rainfall is 55.6 mm.

Heavy rain also affected areas of the neighbouring Medina Province. Saudi Civil Defense said emergency teams rescued 5 people after a vehicle was swept away by flood waters in a rural area of Medina.

Flood rescue in Medina, Saudi Arabia, 24 November 2022. Photo: Saudi Arabia Civil Defense

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