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Friday, July 30, 2021

Worst of Qatar rain over, but questions of accountability remain

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Stormy Qatar
Stormy Qatar

After two days of strong winds and heavy rain, only scattered showers are expected in parts of Qatar today, forecasters have said.

The news will likely come as a relief to the many people around town who have been hard hit by flooding, traffic jams and leaky roofs.

The rain affected major malls such as Villaggio and Landmark, IKEA, Souq Waqif and even a local hospital. A handful of schools also remained closed yesterday due to flooding.

Emergency crews have been working around the clock to suction up the rain from roundabouts, major streets and tunnels.

As of last night, QNA said some 17 million gallons of water had been pulled from Doha, Al Rayyan, Umm Salal, Al Khor, Al Dhakhira, Al Daayen, Al Shamal, Al Shahaniya and Al Wakrah.

Questions remain

But as Qatar returns to its normal drier self, many are asking why the recent downpours had such a paralyzing effect on the country.

When something similar happened last year, officials launched an inquiry into the chaos.

However, the results of this investigation have not been publicly shared.

This year, Qatar’s public works authority unveiled a detailed rain preparedness strategy.

Truck removes rain water on Al Waab Street
Truck removes rain water on Al Waab Street

It involved simulation training for staff, equipment readiness especially in areas without drainage and maintenance of the nation’s 45,000 manholes and numerous tunnel pumping stations.

But areas like Abu Hamour and Muathir, home of hard-hit animal shelter QAWS, were still left waterlogged.

So far, no officials have commented about whether that plan met or fell short of expectations, leaving many with unanswered questions:

 

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