A destructive rainstorm hit Saudi Arabia's Hafar Al Batin governorate over the weekend, wreaking havoc on the city and leaving seven dead and 11 injured. On Sunday, a 30-minute windstorm added to the damages caused by the weekend rainfall.
According to Okaz Newspaper, rescue teams freed 16 people trapped in floods and provided seven others with shelter. Authorities received over 1,176 emergency calls from people who needed to be evacuated or rescued as the disaster unfolded.
The kingdom's Civil Defense confirmed that over 40 vehicles were completely destroyed due to traffic accidents caused by the weather. Houses, roofs, and other properties were also damaged due to flood waters leaking into them.
Abdul Hadi Al Shaharani, the spokesman for the kingdom's Civil Defense in the Eastern province, stressed that citizens must take all precautionary measures needed to ensure their safety in similar unstable weather conditions. He also called on them to follow official social media accounts that send out warnings to the public ahead of storms.
News of deaths and injuries related to Hafar Al Batin's rainstorm naturally made it to Saudi Twitter and sent shockwaves through the platform.
Entire billboards collapsed on highways
Several cars were completely destroyed
The rain led to power cuts
Saudi Arabia has been hit by deadly storms in recent years
Earlier this year, heavy floods left 12 people dead and hundreds of others injured in the kingdom after heavy rainfall and storms hit several of the country's areas, mainly in western and northwestern parts of the kingdom near its border with Jordan.
In October 2018, a severe storm flooded streets and drowned cars in Saudi Arabia's Abha city, angering residents and leading them to question the city's infrastructure.
Some blamed authorities for not implementing an effective natural disaster plan to help deal with similar weather conditions. A minority called them out on not doing enough to combat climate change — a phenomenon that has certainly affected changes in weather experienced by the kingdom and the entire region in recent years.