One young woman has been confirmed dead and at least three others remain missing after heavy rainfall and flooding cause chaos in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
According to civil defence officials, a 26-year-old Yemini woman, who was swept away from her father while attempting to cross a flooded road, is the first confirmed fatality of the floods, which started on Saturday (November 16) following heavy rains.
Authorities are still searching for two men and one woman who were reported missing more than 36 hours ago.
“There were 5,015 reports of incidents, out of which 4,968 were in Riyadh and 47 in the provinces,” Captain Mohammad Al Hammadi, spokesperson for the civil defence, told Gulf News.
“Ninety-eight trapped people were rescued,” he said.
General travel warnings are in place from advisory boards including Britain’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Government of Canada, which warns of reduced essential services during heavy rains, advising citizens to “exercise caution, monitor local news and weather reports, and follow the advice of local authorities.”
The flooding has caused widespread damage to both public and private property across Saudi Arabia, where more than 148 submerged vehicles have been salvaged and many houses have been irreversibly water damaged and left without electricity.
Contingency plans to close schools and evacuate those living in low-lying areas of the country are now in place as rainfall is expected to continue for much of the week, Gulf Daily News reports.
In May this year, at least 13 people died in a separate spate of flash floods in Saudi Arabia.