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Heavy thunderstorm deluges streets, shops – Widespread flooding after burst of rain

KUWAIT: Heavy rains lashed Kuwait yesterday after days of warnings from the Meteorological Center and the US navy. And in what has become a depressingly familiar recurrence, streets and roads across the country were flooded after storm drains seemingly failed and rainwater gushed from manholes. Traffic crawled at a snail's pace, with broken down vehicles and accidents adding to the snarl.

Social media, blogs and mobile messaging apps were yesterday awash with images and videos of the downpour and its aftermath - of submerged cars and malls inundated with floodwaters. Even hospitals and the airport were not spared by the deluge. The Meteorological Center had warned of southeasterly winds that would reach a speed of 25-50 km/h, coupled with torrential rain, thunder and lightning storms. Experts however had excluded the possibility of flooding.

The fire department and various ministries had also announced preparedness for any inclement weather, but their efforts were left wanting. The government has faced considerable flak over the poor drainage system in the country after heavy rains in past years resulted in a few deaths. More unstable weather is forecast for today, but a public holiday announced for the start of the 3rd Africa Arab Summit may bring some respite to motorists, students and workers alike.

By Shakir Reshamwala

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This article was published on 18/11/2013