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Last Updated: Monday, 24 January, 2005, 15:44 GMT
Saudi Arabian floods claim lives
Saudi floods in Mecca
Mecca police direct traffic in the floods
Eight people have been killed by torrential rains and flash floods in the western Saudi Arabian city of Medina, local media report.

It is believed to have been the worst storm to hit the desert Kingdom in some 20 years.

Heavy rains caused a dam to collapse, isolating many villages and forcing many residents to leave their homes.

The dead include members of a family swept away as their vehicle tried to cross a flooded valley.

Two people visiting Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage were reportedly killed and nearly 200 pilgrims injured when heavy rains hit the Mecca area on Saturday.

Although Saudi Arabia is one of the most arid countries in the world, severe rainstorms are common in the mountainous region along its west coast.

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