Floods chaos

Nov

20

2013

BAHRAIN descended into chaos yesterday as heavy showers flooded several areas overnight, disrupting traffic and damaging homes.

At least two government schools were also forced to close their doors due to overflowing rainwater inside their campuses.

Many areas in Manama, Muharraq, Isa Town, Hamad Town, Sitra, Janabiya and Saar were inaccessible.

However, officials said they tackled the problem swiftly as 41 tankers were dispatched across all five governorates yesterday.

The Works Ministry has received a total of 227 complaints since the first major downpour of the winter on Sunday through its hotline – 80001810.

Its public relations and media director Fahad Buallay told the GDN that inspection teams examined several areas, including Hoora and Gudaibiya, which are hotspots for flooding in the cold weather.

“These are potential black spots for waterlogging and we have covered 90 per cent of these areas,” he said.

“We are taking all measures by sending tankers to drain rainwater across the country.

“We have roped in four private contractors who have six tankers each to help us clear the roads.”

The teams also inspected major highways and tunnels that were flooded, including the Buri Tunnel.

Mr Buallay also spoke of major flooding that occurred on Flyover-three on the King Hamad Highway towards Durrat Al Bahrain yesterday, which was caused by a blockage in one of the pumping stations.

“The situation is under control,” he added.

“Compared to the past few years, we are better prepared to deal with rains this year.”

Mr Buallay added clearing waterlogging in residential areas was the responsibility of the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry.

Sources also confirmed to the GDN that classes were suspended at the Budaiya Primary School for Boys and another government school in Abu Saiba yesterday due to flooding.

Scores of pictures circulated online of water-filled school playgrounds and parents carrying their children to avoid massive puddles.

Muharraq Municipal Council chairman Abdulnasser Al Mahmeed was bombarded with complaints from residents yesterday, but said the situation has improved over the years.

“My colleagues are away and I am also handling work of their constituencies,” he said.

“I have received several complaints related to waterlogging after the rains, but we are working to address all this.

“This year the situation is much better as we are much prepared.”

Meanwhile, meteorologists have warned of heavy showers and thunderstorms until the weekend.

Civil Aviation Affairs meteorology acting director Adel Daham said Bahrain recorded 13.5mm of rainfall until yesterday morning.

He said unsettled weather coupled with thunderstorms will continue for the next two days with strong winds at times.

“This is due to a deep depression that moved from the Mediterranean basin towards the Arabian Peninsula and met the warm air mass coming from the Arabian Sea,” he explained.

In: News Asked By: [192 Blue Star Level]

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