King Abdullah directs authorities to provide assistance to Jeddah Province

January 27, 2011

Following heavy rains in Jeddah Province yesterday, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has issued a royal order directing all concerned authorities to urgently provide assistance to the people of Jeddah and its surroundings. The area received 114 mm of rain on Wednesday, and more is expected to fall in the coming days. While the flooding has inflicted damage, no deaths have yet been reported.

King Abdullah instructed Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf to provide the necessary cash to facilitate all relief efforts immediately, adding that any officials who perform negligently in this situation will face serious punishment.

Following the King’s directive, Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah ordered his department to be on full alert to receive any flood-related medical cases. In a statement, he declared a state of emergency at all health facilities in Jeddah Province and announced the formation of medical field teams inside Jeddah neighborhoods in coordination with Civil Defense task teams.

Meanwhile, President of the General Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (GCTA) Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz vowed that his organization is ready to contribute to the relief efforts. He instructed the Tourist Development Department in Jeddah to work day and night to assist the homeless by providing hotels and furnished apartments and to join the committees supervising the rescue process. In a statement, GCTA spokesman Majed Al-Shiddi said that Prince Sultan has set up a hotline with all departments to ensure that they are fulfilling their duties and urged the owners of tourist facilities to provide assistance to citizens and expatriates suffering under difficult circumstances.

Furthermore, the Civil Defense in Jeddah has been bolstered by support from Makkah, Taif, Riyadh and Asir, according to Director General of Civil Defense Lt. Gen. Saad Al-Towaijri. The back-up personnel, he noted, includes individuals specializing in water rescue operations.