‘Kuwaitis, expats whose homes hit by deluge call 112 for help’

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‘Former MPW minister responsible, must resign’

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 3, (Agencies): Kuwait Fire Force (KFF) called on Monday citizens and residents, whose dwellings were damaged by yesterday’s rain, to call the Hotline 112 for assistance. In a statement, KFF said that people must call the emergency number in order to provide the necessary assistance. Yesterday, Kuwait witnessed heavy rains, which led to the flooding of houses and road closures. Schools were suspended today to tackle the aftermath of the rain. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior said the roads and highways inundated with rainwater earlier Sunday have been reopened to traffic tonight.

Rainwater depicts a river around a telecom tower in one of the areas in Kuwait

Acting on reports of traffic problems due to the ponds formed by the heavy rains, the security services had to block the roads in some areas to help the competent authorities remove the rainwater, the ministry noted in a tweet. The ministry called on motorists to be cautious and abide by the safety instructions during the unstable weather conditions. Meanwhile, seven Municipal Council members have called on Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Dr Rana Al-Fares to be responsible for the flooding of the streets by resigning, reports Al-Qabas daily.

In a statement about the flooded streets and areas throughout the country, the seven council members expressed their dissatisfaction over the catastrophic situation resulting from the flooding of the streets. They asserted: “We ask Minister Dr Rana Al-Fares to shoulder political and moral responsibilities by submitting her resignation due to the lack in preparation of rain drainage infrastructure for the second time. It means the Ministry of Public Works failed to maintain rain drainage facilities in order to withstand a natural event such as rainfall. This led to the disruption of access to important vital facilities in the country and material damages in many areas, some of which turned into disaster areas. Minister Dr Rana Al-Fares is fully responsible for this disaster, as she was in charge of the Public Works Ministry for a long time.” They then asked incumbent Minister of Public Works Ali Al-Mousa to form an investigation committee that will be tasked to look into the causes of the recent flooding on the streets.

Heavy downpour wrecked roads in Khaitan and Farwaniya. Recently built highways were badly affected by the rain at many places.

In another development, the head of the Union of Fresh Dairy Producers, Abdul Hakim Al-Ahmad, said the rains that lashed the country caused flooding of some streets in the Sulaibiya farms area, which led to the difficulty of transporting milk and its derivatives from farms to markets and cooperative societies significantly, compared to other days, reports Al-Qabas daily. Al-Ahmad said the union had previously warned against the poor infrastructure of the streets in the Sulaibiya farms area, and following the ‘flooding’ of the area, it is now assumed there will be cooperation and coordination between the concerned authorities to maintain and develop the infrastructure of the region, instead of allowing the streets to remain submerged under water during rains which disrupts the farms produce from reaching the daily supply of dairy to local markets, explaining that the Ministry of Public Works was addressed more than once during the past years in this regard. Earlier yesterday, the Ministry of Interior had mobilized its sectors following heavy rainfall in the country, to provide assistance to those stranded on the roads, and to organize traffic on some roads, because many traffic lights were not functioning, reports Al-Qabas daily.

A security source said the Operations Room of the Ministry of Interior has received several reports about complete disruption of some traffic signals and the closure of some internal streets, while the Directorate-General of Fire Department said it had received and dealt with 45 reports for assistance. The department has called on citizens and residents to stay away from water gathering places, stressing that all fire stations are ready to deal with any emergency. The DGFD has also appealed to sea-goers not to venture out into the sea because of the unstable weather conditions and also appealed to all people to follow up on the weather through official websites. Meanwhile, the Director of the Highways Department at the Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport, Engr. Muhammad Al-Qazwini, said the Al-Ghazali and Jahra Industrial Tunnels were temporarily closed in cooperation with the General Traffic Department of the Ministry of Interior because of the accumulation of rain water. Al-Qazwini told Al-Qabas the emergency teams are dealing with the many similar situations and is in constant touch with the concerned authorities at all levels.

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