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Thunderstorm floods roads, schools, flights suspended – Authorities on full alert ; Volunteers rush to help

kuwait-floodKUWAIT: A thunderstorm hit the country early yesterday, leading to the suspension of schools and universities and flooding in some areas and roads. The Interior Ministry cautioned motorists from the possible continuation of the thunderstorm, calling on people in Kuwait to contact the police and fire directorate’s emergency teams in case of emergencies.

Officials from Kuwait University and the Ministry of Education released statements regarding the suspension of studies at schools and universities due to the bad weather conditions. The measure also took into consideration the safety of students and teaching staff at educational facilities.

The Kuwait Meteorological Center warned that the weather would remain unstable and cloudy, with moderate to strong southeasterly wind with speeds of 25-50 km/h, causing rising dust and low visibility of less than 1,500 m in some areas and a chance of rain that might be thundery at times.

Meanwhile, volunteers from the Kuwait Red Crescent Society offered help to people affected by the stormy weather in Jahra, the society’s chairman Dr Hilal Al-Sayer announced. He told KUNA a group of volunteers rushed to Jahra and Taima to provide help, noting that these two areas were the most affected by the torrential rain and roaring gales. These teams will remain there to cope with any emergency, he added.

Security sources said that a house in Taima collapsed, but no casualties were reported. Jahra Hospital’s corridors were flooded with water, and nursing staff had to participate in clearing it. The Jahra industrial area intersection with the Sixth Ring Road (a recently-launched project) was flooded with water because rain drainage sewers had not been cleaned before the rainy season. Also in Jahra and some northern areas, yesterday’s heavy rain caused a blackout in several places including Kabd police station, some polyclinics and traffic lights.

Meanwhile, air traffic went back to normal at Kuwait International Airport after two flights were diverted to Dammam International Airport as the thunderstorm was raging. The weather forecast in Kuwait indicated the possibility of more thunderous weather and heavy rain in the evening with wind speed reaching 50 km per hour, and sea waves possibly reaching three to six meters. The Ministry of Electricity and Water announced yesterday that the power-water network was functioning as usual and the technical teams are on full alert round the clock.

The Ministry of Public Works announced yesterday that emergency teams have been deployed in the country’s governorates to deal with any accident resulting from the stormy weather. Abdulmohsen Al-Enezi, the assistant undersecretary, said the ministry, dealt with 100 complaints since early hours of yesterday. Trees fell and the sewage system suffered damage due to the rainwaters, but emergency teams dealt with the situation.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi and Agencies

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