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Fri 27 Nov 2009 11:59 AM

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Jeddah needs $800m for proper drainage - official

Residents raise concerns following recent flooding in Saudi Arabia's port city.

The Saudi city of Jeddah would need approximately SR3bn ($800m) to the city’s poor rainwater drainage system, an official has said.

Several residents have raised concerns following the flooding in the port city of Jeddah following the heaviest rainfall in years; at least 77 people died as a result.

Ibrahim Kutubkhanah, Jeddah’s deputy mayor for construction told the Saudi Gazette that the city is now only 30 percent protected against imminent dangers of flooding.

There are now 37 new projects in progress worth SR1bn which will help to boost the city’s immunity to floods, the official said.

The current SR1 billion project to protect Jeddah will include concrete tunnels to control the direction of the floodwater and new pipelines for rainwater drainage, Kutubkhanah told the Saudi daily.

In the recent flooding in Jeddah, some were drowned or were killed by collapsing bridges and in car crashes, while the rescue services spokesman said another 900 people had to be rescued after being stranded by the floodwaters caused by rainfall of up to 3 inches (76 mm).

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