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Civil Defense targets 12 safety risks to Umrah pilgrims

MAKKAH – The Civil Defense Directorate here has identified 12 potential safety risks to Umrah pilgrims and has taken all the measures necessary to deal with them in order to provide maximum protection and safety to those performing the ritual in Ramadan.

Colonel Salim Al-Matrafi, Director of Operations Division at Makkah Civil Defense, said,

“The list of potential risks includes fire accidents at parking lots, power stations, maintenance sites, control rooms, hotels, residential towers and tunnels leading to the area surrounding the Grand Mosque; stampedes and people fainting in crowds; pushing and shoving while entering and exiting the Grand Mosque; and disruptions caused by power cuts, heavy rains, tremors, or rock slides.”

Risks also include the spread of some epidemic diseases among Umrah performers, poisoning caused by eating contaminated food unfit for human consumption, and illness caused by pollution, Al-Madina Arabic daily reported, Thursday.
Colonel Al-Matrafi said,

 “The precautionary measures plan for emergencies in Ramadan includes the preparation of seven centers covering all areas of Makkah and the central area surrounding the Grand Mosque and providing these areas with personnel and machinery to perform the necessary tasks.”

He added that there are 56 fire-fighting units, 32 rescue units, 12 fast intervention units, seven first aid centers and nine water rescue teams equipped with boats and vehicles.
Civil Defense Directorate has increased the number of patrol vehicles safeguarding the districts of Makkah in order to remove any risks that may threaten the safety of Umrah performers, he said.

“Makkah has been divided into seven areas and each area has been assigned a team of officers, and safety inspectors are working around-the-clock to ensure that all precautionary measures are in place,” he added. – SG

Source:  Saudi Gazette