Snow blankets northern Arabian Peninsula

Snow blankets northern Arabian Peninsula
2 min read
13 January, 2015
Emergency measures are implemented in Saudi Arabia as snow covers much of its northern regions.
Saudi Arabians have been enjoying the unusual snowfall [AFP]
Snow has swept across much of the northern regions of the Arabian Peninsula over the past three days. The wintery weather is expected to continue throughout the week, reaching its peak on Tuesday in Tabuk and al-Jouf regions of northern Saudi Arabia. The Saudi police have issued travel warnings after temperatures in some areas reached minus 6 degrees Celsius.

Tabuk province has been covered in snow since Friday, and the
border police have increased patrols in the region to help Bedouins
     The wintery weather has been caused by the winter storm 'Huda' that has swept across much of the region.
who may have been affected. Many areas in Turaif governorate in the north of the country have also witnessed heavy snowfall. The wintery weather is expected to last several days, and has been caused by the winter storm "Huda" that has swept across much of the region.

Heavy snowfall has forced residents in Saudi Arabia’s northern border region to remain indoors, and streets are deserted. Imams have combined daily prayers so worshippers do not have to make several visits to the mosque.

Major Abdul Rahman al-Ahmari, police spokesperson for the northern border region, said so far the weather has not caused any serious accidents. However, "the police has mobilised all its personnel to deal with the extra calls they are receiving".

Ahmari issued some safety guidelines for managing the unusual weather conditions. He highlighted the importance of carrying out the necessary maintenance on heaters, lighting fires away from flammable materials and ensuring rooms are sufficiently ventilated to avoid asphyxiation. The police have warned people to avoid steep areas or canyons as they are at risk of flash floods once the snow starts melting.

The emir of Tabuk, Emir Fahad bin Sultan, mobilised six emergency teams when the snow started. Hussam al-Saleh, of the local Red Crescent Society, said they had responded to a number of incidents, some serious. However, he said, most residents of Tabuk have been enjoying the snow.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.