Rains spark road chaos and floods




BAHRAIN witnessed road chaos and floods in various areas yesterday, with 70 accidents reported throughout the day.

Traffic police responded to 20 crashes between 6am and midday, and another 50 accidents between noon and 10pm, bringing traffic to a standstill on several major highways.

There were no serious injuries and most of the collisions were said to be minor blamed on wet roads.

However, two drivers were injured when their vehicles crashed into each other on the Mina Salman flyover.

One of them reportedly lost control of his car because of the slippery road and collided into the other vehicle.

Many villages and towns were also flooded, causing damage to homes and businesses, with Isa Town, Jid Ali, Sanabis, Muharraq, and parts of Manama and Riffa being the worst-affected.

One shop owner in Jid Ali claimed he called municipality officials to drain the water from the streets, but no one came for hours.

‘I usually have good business as my cold store is located on the main road, but it was really bad as I had very few customers,’ said the 37-year-old Bahraini, who spoke to the GDN on condition of anonymity.

‘It was flooded and some people didn’t even bother to come out of their homes, while some just drove by in their vehicles.

‘The water started coming inside my shop and I called the municipality, but no one picked up.

‘I have sacks of rice and flour on the floor, which I thought would be damaged due to rainwater, so I removed them and put them in the storeroom.

‘When I noticed not many customers were coming, I closed the shop and went home.’

Another shopkeeper said he had to wade through floodwater to get inside his store near the Manama Central Market.

‘I have been in Bahrain for the last four years and I am facing the same problem every year,’ said the 21-year-old Indian.

‘There must be a solution to the problem of drainage system in Bahrain.’

The GDN reported in November last year that Bahrain should step up its emergency plans to prevent chaos caused by heavy downpours.

Works Minister Essam Khalaf earlier said the country was only prepared for average rainfall, but was working towards setting up drainage systems across all five governorates.

He also admitted that the ministry needed to focus on paving dirt roads in villages, which caused problems both in the summer in terms of dust and in the winter as it turned into mud and clay following showers.

Source: http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=390966

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