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Deaths, flight delays as heavy rains hit Saudi
by Staff Writers
Riyadh (AFP) Nov 17, 2015

India deploys troops in south as floods kill dozens
Chennai, India (AFP) Nov 17, 2015 - India has deployed the army and air force to rescue flood-hit residents in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where at least 71 people have died in around a week of torrential rains.

Media reports said military helicopters were being used to drop food and drinking water to the worst-hit areas, while schools and businesses in state capital Chennai had been forced to close.

Twelve children and 10 adults were airlifted to safety on Monday, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency quoted an official as saying.

PTI said at least 71 people had died since the rains started last week, with the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka also affected.

Television footage showed families in Chennai using canoes to get through waist-deep waters.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram said the government was "working day and night" to bring relief to victims of the floods, caused by a cyclonic depression formed in the Bay of Bengal.

She announced a relief fund of five billion rupees ($75 million), according to PTI.

India suffers severe flooding every year during the annual monsoon rains, which cover the subcontinent from June to September.

Dozens died this year in flooding in the northeastern state of Assam.

The Indian Meteorological Department warned Tuesday of further heavy rain in the north of the state.

Fishermen were advised not to put to sea along the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, it said in a bulletin.

At least three people died and flights were delayed during heavy rain that fell on Saudi Arabia Tuesday, officials said as the desert nation braced for a cool snap.

Two people in the Red Sea city of Jeddah were electrocuted, and an 11-year-old boy drowned in Yanbu further north, the civil defence agency said.

Jeddah's King Abdulaziz International Airport said eight domestic flights were delayed "due to the rainy weather conditions in Jeddah".

One international flight was diverted to Medina, it added in a statement, without giving more details.

"Air traffic is now back to normal," the airport said.

Some streets in Jeddah, the kingdom's second-largest city, were flooded.

A picture posted by the civil defence agency showed water over the wheels of cars in one Jeddah location, but elsewhere it covered only the feet of firefighters.

The government urged Jeddah residents to stay home, and reportedly gave children there a day off school on Tuesday.

"The next few hours will see more moderate rains in Jeddah and its northern areas," said Hussein al-Qahtani, a weather department spokesman.

Even heavier rains fell in the northwestern city of Tabuk, near Jordan, where 46 millimetres (1.8 inches) were recorded since Monday, Qahtani said.

Following cool winds, moderate to heavy rains would on Wednesday move east to the Riyadh region and other areas, he told Al-Ekhbaria television news channel.

Floods killed 123 people in Jeddah in 2009, and about 10 people two years later.

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