KUWAIT:  Despite a government-declared public holiday and forecasts warning of torrential rains, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s Meteorological Department reported  Wednesday midday only light to moderate rains and scattered thunderstorms. 

Fears of widespread flooding, like what occurred in the country last Friday led the government to declare a public holiday for all schools – public and private – universities, ministries, government departments. Banks, utilities and other businesses also closed though most private sector businesses remained open. 

Heavy rainfall that could lead to flooding of roads, tunnels and neighborhoods is expected during the afternoon.  Head of the navigational forecast Theara Al-Ali told KUNA that heavy rainfall is expected in some areas which could lead to accumulation of water and possible torrents especially in areas that have already been filled with the previous rainfall. 

Light rains have already been falling for hours in some areas of the country like Salmiya, Farwaniya and in southern parts of the country previously inundated, heightening the chance of flooding this evening. Kuwait TV reported that in the last 24 hours, Kuwait has received 11mm in Kuwait International Airport, 10mm in southern areas and 5mm in Salmiya so far.

Last Friday, Kuwait received more than 34 millimeters of rain in a 24 hour period, leading to widespread flooding. The country typically receives an average of 21 millimeters of rain for the entire month of November.

 

As for tonight, he said the country will witness unstable weather condition with moderate to fresh south easterly wind to north easterly wind, with speed of 20 – 45 km/h with a chance for rain that might be thundery at times and visibility will decrease over some areas. (material from Kuna used in this report).

 

Kuwait’s Council of Ministers has declared tomorrow, 15 November, a public holiday due to the adverse weather conditions. All public and private schools, universities, ministries, government departments and offices will be closed.

By Jamie Etheridge

Last updated at 17:25