At least 25 dead in heavy rains, flooding in Saudi Arabia

May 8, 2013 at 1:32 PM
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, May 8 (UPI) -- Massive efforts are under way in Saudi Arabia to find three people missing in heavy rains and floods in which at least 25 people have died, officials say.

Civil defense officials say 6,800 people have been rescued and 4,700 evacuated during rains that have been ongoing for 12 days, Gulf News reported Wednesday.

Search and rescue operations have been assisted by a number of technological programs, including the ability to locate the source of a call, Civil Defense Director Saad al-Tuwaiijiri said.

He said more than 700 teams had been deployed through a well-conceived emergency plan.

"We were well prepared thanks to the surveys and studies we had carried earlier and that helped us identify high-risk areas and eventually succeed in limiting the casualties and the consequences of the heavy rains and floods," Tuwaiijiri said.

Emergency officials have issued repeated warnings about exercising high levels of caution and not underestimating the danger of crossing or driving through floods.

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