On 25 November 2009 the Saudi city of Jeddah was afflicted by heavy rains that lasted only a few hours but caused massive flooding and the deaths of more than 500 people. To lessen the embarrassment, official reports shrank the number of flood-related deaths to just over 100.
Hundreds of bodies were swept in the current and up to 11,000 people may be missing in the sea, according to a report two days ago by the Saudi newspaper al-Yaum. This figure may be inflated but the number of the missing and dead surely ranks in the hundreds, and could turn out to exceed a thousand. For comparison, hurricane Katrina in the US killed about 1,800 people. (The Guardian 3 December ’09)