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Floods in the desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia
For the non-intimate and lesser informed people it would be a shocking surprise to learn that there could be floods in the desert country, one of the richest in the world namely Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia. Today, it is facing the worst flood-situation in its history. It was raining cats and dogs in Baha Province and the Turbah Governorate yesterday.

Such heavy rains are unexpected and the infrastructure is not ready for the calamity. You can't buy everything with money. The death toll in the flash floods that ravaged various provinces in the last two days has gone up to 24 while many drowned are still remain missing.

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According to latest reports, seven people perished at various places in the mountainous Taif governorate: Five died in Aqiq, three each in Al-Kharj and Aflaj, one each in Madinah, Hariq, Majama, Quwaiea, Bisha and Khamis Mushayt. One man is missing in Hail and search operations are in full swing in Baha for three missing workers.

There is rapid rise in the water levels of the famous ‘Aqiq Dam’ and it is overflowing. The Government, while blaming the deaths to the negligence, has asked the public not to panic. “In view of the rapid rise in the water level and overflow in the Aqiq Dam, warning sirens have been sounded for people to take precautions,” said Lt. Col. Jamaan Al-Ghamdi, the Civil Defense spokesman in Baha province. Civil Defense has  warned the people against crossing the valley as there is a high possibility of being stranded and their vehicles stuck.

To share the littlle geography of KSA, there are three bodies of water abut the desert of Saudi Arabia. To the west is the ‘Gulf of Aqaba’ and the ‘Red Sea. Eastern boundary of KSA follows the Persian Gulf which the Arabs now give the name ‘Arabian Gulf.’

Earlier, there were lakes at ‘Layla Aflai’ and deep waterholes at ‘Al Kharj’ near Riyadh. The later has interesting story. According to folk lore a meteoir had fell here in prehistoric times. Water geysers gushed forth and the small ponds were formed. Unfortunately, too much water has been drawn out of these aquifers and water is slowly disappearing from them. It is a non-renewable source. In the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia there are plenty of artesian wells and springs. In the Al Ahsa area there are plenty of large, deep pools of fresh water.

These water reservoirs are replenished by rains, artesian springs and wells which permit extensive irrigation in local oases. In the Hijaz Province there are abundance of wells  and springs. However, the home province of royalty, namely Najd Province is a great desert and scarce natural water resources are found there.

With the help of modern technology, Saudi Arabian rulers have set us many Desalination and Water-distillation plants which help to provide the fresh-water for drinking, normal water for house-hold, industryand irrigation. Floods are welcome there as long as deaths are not to be followed.

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