Middle East

Kuwait grinds in heavy rain

MP blows up former minister * Dozens of people have been rescued * School closed today

By B Izzak & Agencies

Kuwait: Yesterday, torrential rains struck Kuwait, almost killing lives, flooding residential areas and forcing some major highways to close. No loss of life has been reported, but authorities have said they have rescued as many as 106 people. In some areas, rainfall exceeds 60 mm, more than half of Kuwait’s average annual rainfall of 100 mm, according to people familiar with the matter.

Many lawmakers have blamed the government and former officials for the damage caused by the rain that has already occurred several times. MP Mubarak Al-Ajmi blames former Minister of Public Works Rana Al-Fares for “what’s happening on the roads of Kuwait” and makes necessary repairs during the closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. He added that he was given the opportunity to do so. “But she failed.”

MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari has asked the government to declare a holiday today as it will be very difficult to travel on the road. He said the rain damage had recurred due to the accumulated rot. He held the government accountable.

Most residential areas turned into lakes, as the Home Office urged the public to stay out except in emergencies, but thousands of cars were stuck on submerged roads. Teams such as the Army, National Guard, municipalities, fire departments, and the Ministry of Public Works were busy all day trying to drain the water that filled many underpasses.

The Ministry of Education has postponed the exam scheduled today, and the Ministry of Higher Education has closed schools and universities today. According to the Meteorological Bureau, heavy rains caused by the severe recession in Africa were expected to continue until midnight yesterday and gradually return to stability today.

Authorities in several Gulf countries updated their weather warnings yesterday as heavy rains for several days hit areas that were usually dry. Gulf countries usually experience calm winters, except for the rare and short flood episodes from November to January.

Heavy rains hit the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and official WAM news outlets said bad weather was expected to continue until Thursday. Rain is exacerbated by artificial rainfall, which authorities usually use to increase low and rare rainfall, the National Meteorological Center told AFP. In the United Arab Emirates of Sharjah, pedestrians and vehicles were caught in brown water. Authorities have not reported casualties.

Heavy rains in the vast desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia are affecting pilgrims in the sanctuary of Makkah. Saudi Arabia’s civil defense has warned that moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to continue in some areas. On Saturday, Oman announced “storms of varying intensity” in several parts of the country, and state-run Oman TV aired images of wet roads and rising waters. Qatar officials have urged residents to warn and predict “stormy rain” and strong winds in some parts of the country from Sunday.

https://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/kuwait-grinds-to-a-halt-amid-torrential-rainfall/ Kuwait grinds in heavy rain

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