Public Works Minister resigns, National Guard called in to help as rains wreak

KUWAIT: Heavy rains wreaked havoc across Kuwait Friday, resulting in massive flooding of major highways, streets and neighborhoods. The Minister of Public Works Hussam Al Roumi resigned in the wake of the crisis, reported local Arabic newspapers and the Kuwait National Guard was called in to help as roads and homes were flooded, vehicles submerged and emergency services stretched to the limit responding to flash floods in various parts of the country.

Kuwait has received 33.70 millimeters of rain within the last 24 hours, reported Kuwait’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Meteorological Department with rain still failing as of 10pm local time. The semi-arid country typically receives around 21 millimeters of rainfall for the entire month of November.

The massive rainfall on Friday is the latest in a week of excessive rainfall. Last Monday night/Tuesday morning, Kuwait received around 58 millimeters of rain, more than a third of total annual average rainfall. The resultant flood, especially of major highways, tunnels and underpasses and the widespread damage caused to property including vehicles led to the sacking to several high ranking government officials in the public roads authority and the ministry of public works.

As of 10pm Friday night, dozens of roads, neighborhoods and areas of Kuwait were submerged under water with homes, vehicles and tens of thousands of dinars in property damage. No deaths or serious injuries have been reported.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement warning people to stay off the roads and avoid going out except in emergencies due to the extreme weather and flooding. Ministry of Interior has received several reports on sites where water was collected:

Flooded areas & roads,
Highways:
Seventh ring road opposite to Abdullah Al-Mubarak.
Al-Riyadh road towards airport.
Sixth ring road opposite to Jaber Stadium.
Jaber AlAhmad, block 1.
Capital area:
First ring road towards Dasman opposite to Abdullah Al-Salem area.
Al-Mansouriya block 1.
Hawally:
Salwa close to gas station.
Alzahra block 1.
Al-Salmiya block 4.
Al-Farwaniya :
Abu Al-Qasem st. Opposite to Al-Nasr Soorts club.
Kabd road between 6th and 7th highways.
Gnous AlJaber st. Opposite to Farwaniya hospital.
AlHumadi crossing.
Avenues square
Garibaldi AlJassar road at Ardiya
Behind Farwaniya hospital
Omariya block 5
Ishbilya block 4
Ardiya areas
AlFahaheel crossing
Al-Sanater crossing
Oil co. Crossing
Fahaheel fir-Station square
Agailah at the entrance of AUM
Ahmadi towards Ahmadi hospital
Sabah Al-Ahmad opposit to
roundabout 22
Adan bridge towards Ahmadi
Mangaf tunnel
East Ahmadi area
6th ring road opposite to Sulaibiya
Subbiya bridge 1
Amghara scrap
Sulaibiyya between 6 and 7 blocks
Sulaibiya Farms
Sabah Al-Salem between block 7 and block 11
Sabah Al-Salem block 4

By Jamie Etheridge