Severe Weather Prompts Riyadh Students to Switch to Remote Learning

Severe weather disrupts education in Saudi Arabia, prompting remote learning and exam postponements across major cities as heavy rains and thunderstorms cause flooding and infrastructure damage.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Severe Weather Prompts Riyadh Students to Switch to Remote Learning

Severe Weather Prompts Riyadh Students to Switch to Remote Learning

Students in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia have transitioned to remote learning as the country braces for severe weather conditions expected to persist until Friday, May 3, 2024. The National Center of Meteorology has warned that several regions across the Kingdom will experience moderate to heavy rainfall over the coming days.

The General Directorate of Civil Defense issued severe weather warnings and urged residents to take precautions and remain indoors. In addition to Riyadh, schools in Jeddah, Mecca, and Medina were also instructed to transition to online classes through the Madrasati remote learning platform.

According to the meteorology center, thunderstorm clouds are moving towards several governorates in the eastern region, with the capital Riyadh already experiencing thunderstorms. The heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected to continue in the coming hours.

Why this matters: The severe weather disruptions emphasize the importance of robust remote learning infrastructure to ensure educational continuity during emergencies. The widespread impact across multiple major cities in Saudi Arabia underscores the need for preparedness and adaptability in the face of extreme weather events.

The Ministry of Education has announced the suspension of in-person classes in several cities, including Jeddah, Madinah, Rabigh, and Khulais. Universities such as the University of Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz University, and Umm Al Qura University have also postponed upcoming exams until further notice, urging students to stay home.

The General Directorate of Civil Defence stated that most parts of the Kingdom are expected to experience moderate to torrential thundershowers accompanied by strong winds until Friday, affecting areas such as Asir, Baha, Makkah, Madinah, Jazan, Qassim, Jawf, Hail, Tabuk, Northern Borders, Riyadh, and the Eastern Province. The National Centre for Meteorology has forecasted rainfall ranging from 10mm to 50mm throughout the week and issued weather alerts for several areas, advising against unnecessary land travel.

Over the past 24 hours, heavy rains and thunderstorms have lashed Saudi Arabia, causing extensive flooding and significant damage. The Al Eis Governorate in the Medina region experienced particularly severe rainfall, leading to powerful torrents that overflowed reefs and valleys, submerging vehicles, disrupting streets, and damaging infrastructure. The Saudi Directorate of Civil Defence in Medina region warned the public to exercise caution, avoid valleys and water streams, and be vigilant when traveling on agricultural roads as the severe weather is expected to continue affecting various regions across the kingdom in the coming days.

Key Takeaways

  • Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, and Medina students switch to remote learning due to severe weather.
  • Thunderstorms, heavy rain, and strong winds expected across Saudi Arabia until May 3, 2024.
  • Widespread flooding and infrastructure damage reported, with civil defense urging caution.
  • Universities postpone exams, emphasizing need for remote learning during emergencies.
  • Severe weather disruptions highlight importance of preparedness and adaptability for extreme events.