As heavy rains lash Kuwait, state shuts down public services, schools

Manama: Kuwait’s interior ministry on Tuesday told citizens and expatriates to avoid venturing out of their homes while the authorities attempt to deal with challenges from the heavy downpour in the northern Arabian country.

Work at ministries, government institutions and schools were suspended in a bid to ensure people’s safety and to minimise risks of accidents and mishaps.

Road users were warned to exercise the highest levels of caution due to the driving difficulties, traffic congestions and floods caused by the unstable weather conditions.

Drivers should “strictly follow traffic rules and regulations so that police officers can deal with the situation,” the ministry added in a press release carried by Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).

The interior ministry said it was coordinating with the Ministry of Public Works to clear the roads and areas covered by rainwater.

The Water and Electricity Ministry said that no power outages or malfunctions had been reported at power stations because of the heavy rain.

Undersecretary of the ministry Mohammad Bushehri said that power cuts in some houses and dwellings might be attributed to water seeping into electrical circuits, which shuts off to prevent damage.

The ministry urged people to monitor the power board in their homes regularly to make sure that no damage was done.

However, it added that emergency teams were ready to address any situation.

Director-General of Kuwait Fire Service Directorate (KFSD) Lieutenant General Khalid Al Mekrad said that fire engine teams were ready to respond to any type of emergency.

He indicated that the KFSD had received over 50 calls reporting various issues and situations.

Lawmakers said they were shocked to hear that as the country was struggling with emergencies resulting from the heavy rains, the head of the Public Authority for Road and Land Transportation Ahmad Al Hissan left for the US to attend an honouring ceremony.

They argued that he should have cancelled his trip in order to coordinate and oversee emergency operations.


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