Jeddah flood toll rises to 83

November 27, 2009 12:00 am

, JEDDAH, Nov 27 – More bodies have been recovered in the western Saudi city of Jeddah, gateway for Muslim pilgrims headed to Mecca, pushing the death toll from Wednesday\’s flash flood to 83, reports said on Friday.

The Al-Watan and Okaz newspapers said the toll had risen to 83, nearly all of them in Jeddah, after the Red Sea port was hit by a torrential downpour that sparked what observers said looked like a tidal wave when it struck the city.

Al-Hayat said 84 had died.

Officials said none of the dead were pilgrims for the hajj, which was underway in Mecca 80 kilometres (50 miles) away.

Receding waters yesterday revealed crumbled bridges and torn up roads, with crumpled vehicles piled up in areas like driftwood.

Citizens worried that a huge sewage outside the city would burst its banks. Jeddah municipality spokesman Ahmad al-Ghamdi said that the was safe and not in danger of being overwhelmed by floodwaters, the reports said.


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