Watch: Massive tornado rips through city in Saudi Arabia; shocking video goes viral

The kingdom's National Centre of Meteorology explained that its occurrence is often associated with severe thunderstorms

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Published: Tue 14 Mar 2023, 1:06 PM

A massive tornado tore through Taif city in Saudi Arabia's Makkah province, as violent weather battered the kingdom.

Residents — most of whom had never seen such a huge swirling cloud of debris — were shocked as they watched the tornado wreak havoc in the area.

Here's the dramatic footage that has been doing the rounds on social media since Monday:

Other video clips show the destruction that the tornado had left behind — from uprooted trees to flatted vehicles and some piles of trash.

Saudi Arabia's National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) confirmed in an advisory that the sighting in Taif was indeed a tornado, which is only temporary.

It explained that its occurrence is often associated with severe thunderstorms and it happens in a "narrow range, for a limited period of time". The centre has monitored similar weather events in the past years.

The tornado didn't have much impact on residents, it added. However, the public is advised to stay away from such occurrences, take precautionary measures, and call the NCM whenever they see one.

Thunderstorms are expected to hit most Saudi regions in the coming days until the beginning of next week.

In an NCM weather forecast, the center said most of the governorates of the provinces of Asir, Al-Baha, Hail, Al-Qassim, Najran, and Jazan and parts of Makkah, Riyadh, and Eastern Province will witness moderate to heavy thunderstorms, accompanied by sandstorms that may reach more than 50kmph, hail, and torrential rain, with low visibility, from Sunday to Thursday.


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