Page last updated at 22:31 GMT, Saturday, 28 November 2009

Flood deaths in Saudi Arabia rise to around 100


Traffic struggles with the flooding in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The number of dead in floods following Saudi Arabia's heaviest rains for years has risen to around 100, officials say.

Dozens are said to be missing and some reports suggest the death toll will rise further in the city of Jeddah.

The authorities say they are providing food and temporary housing for those made homeless and considering how to compensate the worst affected.

But critics accuse them of negligence and say this "disaster" should never have been allowed to happen.

A lawyer has threatened to sue the Jeddah authorities, while thousands of people turned to the social networking site Facebook to vent complaints about inadequate infrastructure on a specially created webpage.

Many of the victims in the Red Sea port city died in their vehicles after the flash floods - either by drowning or in car crashes. Some reportedly were killed when bridges collapsed on top of them.

Heavy rainstorms on Wednesday hampered the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the nearby city of Mecca, but officials said there were no pilgrims among casualties of the flooding.

Apart from Jeddah, flood deaths were reported in Rabigh and Mecca.

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