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Lethal floods lash Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Lethal floods lash Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia

Desert storm: Lightning struck Kuwait City as the fatal weather system developed [AFP]

Date of publication: 29 October, 2015

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Several people have died as unprecedented heavy rainfall has hit the Gulf.
At least seven people have died in Iraq and another in Saudi Arabia, as storms battered Kuwait, the northern Saudi regions, and central and southern Iraq.

A three-year-old girl was also washed away by torrential flood waters as the deluge overwhelmed a refugee camp north of Baghdad.

A deep depression over the central Arabian Sea intensified into a tropical storm on Thursday and it is likely to intensify further into a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours, according to the Omani Public Authority for Civil Aviation.

The rain disrupted schools and businesses in Kuwait on Wednesday, particularly in the al-Jahra governorate. The water drainage network could not handle the amount of rain that fell on the area, causing bad traffic.

Two flights were diverted from Kuwait Airport to Dammam Airport, but the Kuwaiti Civil Aviation service later announced that air traffic had returned to normal.

The rainstorm continued throughout Wednesday in Kuwait, leaving 25 main roads closed, and residents struggling through energy cuts. Emergency and security services tried to help those affected by the rain after water levels rose, but after several trees were felled by high winds, the Kuwaiti education minister suspended school classes on Wednesday.

Video: Using rubber boats because of #Kuwait_Rain

Photos: Al-Jahra residents on rubber boats, and the Ministry of Education suspends school classes #Kuwait_Rain

In Iraq, heavy rain caused road traffic in the capital Baghdad, as well as in Mosul and Basra, prompting Iraqi authorities to announce an official public day off in all Iraqi cities.

The Iraqi government announced a state of emergency to try and deal with the floods, after hospitals and governmental institutions were swamped. Seven people were recorded dead and dozens injured when their houses collapsed and refugee camps in Baghdad and Erbil were flooded.

#Iraq: Najaf province's centre following a wave of heavy rainfall on Wednesday

#Iraq: Shula Hospital in #Baghdad after a wave of heavy rainfall in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday

The thunderstorm spread into northern parts of Saudi Arabia, leading to significantly lower temperatures than normal for this time of year were recorded there.

An 18-year-old girl was killed as a result of flash floods in Saudi Arabia, while her 19-year-old relative was saved by the civil defence emergency service.

Climate specialist Dr Abd al-Aziz al-Rubaie said that the northern part of the Gulf was currently affected by a seasonal low pressure zone that may continue for a week.

#Hail_Rain #Hail_Now #Saudi...

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