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Rainfall in Qatar

Rainfall in Qatar


Sameh Saeid
Doha
Heavy rain accompanied by thunder and lightning lashed several parts of Qatar, including Doha city, on Saturday causing water logging and traffic jams.
In a quick response to the day-long intermittent rain which disrupted normal life in Doha city, Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) workers have managed to remove 2.5 million gallons of rainwater from the city until the evening, a source at the MME told Qatar Tribune.
The MME source added that 41 vacuum tankers were pressed into service in Doha city since Saturday morning to prevent water logging and at least 97 people from the ministry were working around the clock since Friday night.
According to the ministry official, Duhail, Dafna, Old Airport and Muntaza were the worst affected areas in the city, and the ministry is hopeful of removing the rainwater from these areas by Sunday afternoon if there are no further showers on Sunday morning.
Furthermore, the official said the MME's Committee for Rain Emergency in Doha as well as the Department of Service Affairs have received 133 calls from the public in Doha city and at least 51 calls from the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), which were forwarded to the ministry's emergency centre.
Qatar Meteorological Department has forecast thundershowers accompanied by strong winds until Monday. Winds are likely to be northeasterly northerly inshore with speed reaching up to a high of 25 knots at times.
The Civil Aviation Authority, through Twitter, has advised people to take safety measures during thunderstorms. It advised people to stay indoors, or close car windows if they are driving, to avoid the risk of lightning.

It also advised everybody to stay away from high-risk areas such as open waters, highland areas and rooftops as well as to avoid standing under trees and electric poles during lightning.
The Ministry of Municipalities and Environment (MME) has advised residents to contact rainwater emergency response teams at various municipalities to resolve waterlogging problem. The MME has also published the telephone numbers of the emergency response teams through various media.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) through its twitter account advised motorists to take precautions when driving on wet roads."'Rainfall reported in different parts of the country. Motorists, please be alert and take necessary precautions'; 'Reduce your speed, keep more safe distance, avoid overtaking and sudden lane change. Don't drive through water-loggings'," the MoI said in a series of tweets.
Director of Meteorology Department Abdulla Mohamed al Mannai had earlier told Qatar Tribune:"Unstable weather accompanied by thundershowers and scattered rain is quite common during the transition from winter to summer. Clouds form in the west and move towards the east causing rain. So, residents can expect a windy and rainy weekend. Frequent weather changes are characteristics of the period between March and May."
The incessant rain and waterlogging affected traffic movement in several areas in and around Doha city forcing the Traffic Department to put up large hoardings on newly constructed roads around Doha with warning signages.
Truck drivers were affected by the traffic congestion on Northern Express and Orbit Truck Roads, as well, which had turned slippery due to the rain. A truck driver said,"Regular patrolling at highways by Traffic Police helped the motorists a lot."
Furthermore, the rainfall had an impact on the fishermen, a large number of whom could not venture into the sea for fishing. A fisherman at Al Wakra said,"Around 20 percent of fishing boats did not go for fishing at all during the weekend. If rains continue like this, it may cause a shortage of fish in the coming days."
Echoing his view, a fish vendor at Central Market said,"The local supply of fish has declined by 30 to 40 percent due to rain. If the rainfall continues, it will affect the supply further triggering change in fish prices."

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