Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Mecca, Saudi Arabia, was hit by a storm and extreme rain. As a result, the activities of Umrah pilgrims, schools and traffic were disrupted.
According to Al Jazeeraa video circulating on social media on Tuesday (22/8/2023), shows Umrah pilgrims who are doing tawaf or circling the Kaaba getting soaked and slipping on the floor due to heavy rain.
In the same video, a number of objects around the Kaaba can also be seen being swept away by the wind due to an extreme storm. Meanwhile, another video shows the moment lightning strikes the Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower hotel.
Photo: Strong winds hit the Grand Mosque, Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Instagram/makahquran)
The spokesman for the National Center for Meteorology, Hussain al-Qahtani, said that the storm was bringing strong winds with speeds of more than 80 kilometers per hour. He said the Mecca area in Al-Kakiyyah recorded 45 millimeters of rain in 24 hours.
Meanwhile, other videos circulating on social media also show moments of light flooding in several neighborhoods in Mecca. As a result, residents were forced to take cover and stop the car.
“These conditions are similar to a hurricane in 2015 that brought down a crane in the Grand Mosque killing more than 100 people and injuring hundreds of others,” the report said. Al Jazeeraquoted Thursday (24/8/2023).
To date, Saudi Arabian authorities have reported no casualties or significant incidents due to the storm on Tuesday.
On Wednesday (23/8/2023) morning, the local community reported that most of the flash floods had begun to subside. However, the situation is still quite dangerous.
The Saudi Arabian Meteorological Center warned of the potential for further storms on Wednesday that would bring rain, wind and thunder to the Mecca region and other areas in western Saudi Arabia.
Apart from that, the Makkah regional government also announced via X (Twitter) that schools in some parts of Mecca will be closed on Wednesday. Instead, school activities will be carried out online for security reasons.
Mecca resident Abu Mayyada told the news agency AFP that he also experienced the adverse effects of extreme storms. Abu Mayyada admitted that he had lost control while driving the car due to reduced visibility.
“Everything turned black in front of me,” said Abu Mayyada.
“Suddenly I lost control of the vehicle. I couldn’t see anything. So, I started listening to the Koran on the radio. I couldn’t understand what was going on,” he added.
Meanwhile, another Mecca resident, Mohammed, told AFP that the sights around the Grand Mosque were terrifying.
“Everything happened in a few minutes when it rained in an extraordinary way,” said Mohammed.
Another resident, Yusuf, said that usually August brings strong winds to Mecca. However, he said Tuesday’s storm was the worst.
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