Seven people sustained mild injuries as rain accompanied by strong winds hit Mina and Arafat on Wednesday afternoon. Col. Abdullah Al-Harthy, spokesman of the Civil Defense Forces in Haj, said that the holy sites received moderate rain causing damage to some of the temporary tents being erected by workers in Arafat.
Vehicles of some citizens were also damaged by flying debris from zinc alloys used for fencing tents as the wind blew them into the air, he said.
“Immediately after receiving a warning from the Presidency of Meteorology & Environment (PME) about the possibility of rainfall and strong winds in Makkah and the holy sites, the Civil Defense swung into action and took all precautionary and safety measures to handle any emergency situations.”
“We evacuated almost all workers from Arafat, in addition to deploying rescue teams supplied with equipment,” he said. There was rain during the inspection tour of Interior Minister Prince Muhammad at the holy sites.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on October 10, 2013