Sunday , December 16 2018

‘Floods may recur in Kuwait in water-saturated regions’

Infrastructure crumbles in bizarre storms

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 10, (KUNA): Clouds are currently accumulating above Kuwait signaling possible heavy rain in the next hours boosting prospects that floods may recur particularly in some areas where the soil has been saturated with water from previous downpours, warns Kuwait Meteorological Department of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Meteorologist Abdulaziz Al-Qerawi said in a statement to KUNA that the forecast deluge might begin in western parts of the country and gradually spread to central areas. Rainfalls are forecast to proceed throughout Sunday, with downpours on southern regions, amid gales exceeding 60 kms per hour, low visibility and seven-feet waves at the sea. Kuwait’s meteorological office has issued weather warnings for the coming hours, with an increasing potential for spotty and thundery showers.

The unstable weather gripping the country is likely to persist later today with a chance of intermittent downpours at varying intensities, meteorologist Abdulaziz Al-Qarawi told KUNA. Weather conditions are expected to gradually improve after midday tomorrow, he indicated. Public utilities at some areas in Kuwait have been overwhelmed by recent heavy rains, associated with strong waves, Kuwaiti officials said on Saturday.

Rainwaters
The large quantities of rainwaters were beyond all expectations so infrastructure utilities could not resist, they said during a joint press conference. The Ministry of Interior’s operations center has received a total 20,027 rain-related contacts since the severe wave of heavy rains hit the country, the ministry’s undersecretary Isam A-Naham said.

“We have set up operating rooms working round-the-clock, in addition to an administrative room in affected southern areas. Now, we are creating rooms in northern areas in response to expected downpours,” he added.

The official urged all citizens and residents to stay indoors due to bad weather forecasts for the coming hours, Al-Naham pointed out. He also urged everyone to shrug off rumors and exaggerations about weather conditions, and to seek reliable information instead.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti National Guard Undersecretary Lieutenant General Hashim Al-Rifai said the Guard state of readiness has been uplifted since Tuesday. Guard units combed the sixth and seventh ring roads, engaged in pumping water out of Al-Farwaniyah and Adan Hospitals – in coordination with the Ministry of Defense.

Large four-wheel vehicles have been employed to help in rescuing stranded citizens and expatriates and military vehicles have been used to transport people surrounded by waters in areas where ambulances cannot reach, said Lieut Gen Al-Rifai.

He has affirmed that an “administrative zone” has been set up in the northern and southern regions to ensure preparedness of concerned personnel. Brigadier Adel Al-Rujaib of the army chairmanship of staff affirmed that the military have been lending support to the MoI, the Guard and the firemen to minimize impact of the deluge. The troops had been involved in various tasks, such as reopening blocked bridges and tunnels.

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