Kuwait govt bod­ies mo­bi­lized to deal with heavy rain­fall

Oil sec­tor de­clared emer­gency due to un­sta­ble weather

Kuwait Times - - Local -

KUWAIT: Kuwait gov­ern­ment bod­ies have been mo­bi­lized amidst heavy rain­fall in the coun­try Fri­day evening, fully pre­pared to help ei­ther peo­ple stranded, make traf­fic as smooth as pos­si­ble to of­fer­ing med­i­cal as­sis­tance. Min­istry of So­cial Af­fairs and La­bor said it was open­ing its halls, orig­i­nally used for so­cial oc­ca­sions, to al­low peo­ple stranded in streets to seek shel­ter un­til weather im­proves. Hanaa Al-Ha­jri, As­sis­tant Un­der­sec­re­tary for So­cial De­vel­op­ment, said the min­istry would be open­ing halls in ar­eas of Saad Al-Ab­dul­lah, Al-Naseem, Jleeb AlShuy­oukh, Ard­hiya, Fir­dous, Omariya, Far­waniya and AlHerbesh. She said the other halls were in ar­eas of Khai­tan, Jee’an, Qabazard, Salmiya, Sabah Al-Salem, Jaber Al-Ali, Sabahiya, Re­qqa, Bader Al-Mo­ham­mad, Qu­rain, Nasser Al-Mo­ham­mad, Al-Shal­lahi, Sabah AlJaber, Mar­tyr Fa­had Al-Ah­mad, Fa­had Al-Ah­mad, Ab­dul­lah Al-Mubarak and Mishref. Min­istry of Health said it was ac­ti­vat­ing the emer­gency plan with full staff on alert. Min­istry Un­der­sec­re­tary Dr Mustafa Redha said doc­tors, nurs­ing staff and paramedics were do­ing their best to deal with af­ter­math of heavy rain­fall. Di­rec­tor of Am­bu­lance Ser­vices at the Min­is­ter Jassem Al-Foderi said the min­istry re­ceived 278 calls for cases mostly about asthma, heart dis­eases and house calls. He con­firmed readi­ness of emer­gency depart­ments at all hospi­tals were ready, and the min­istry was in con­tact with in­te­rior min­istry, fire de­part­ment and civil de­fense to co­or­di­nate ac­tion.

Kuwait Army and Na­tional Guard also an­nounced mo­bi­liza­tion to deal with heavy rain­fall. The Na­tional Guard said it was up­grad­ing readi­ness to Level Two, which means mo­bi­liza­tion of 50 per­cent of forces. Six Na­tional Guard teams were formed to sup­port gov­ern­ment depart­ments deal with im­pacts of rain, like deal­ing with swamps and se­cure smooth traf­fic. The army said forces were at Far­waniya and Adan Hospi­tals as well as Ah­madi Bridge and Man­qaf Area to re­move rain wa­ter.

Kuwait Mu­nic­i­pal­ity also ac­ti­vated emer­gency plan in all six gov­er­norates. It added in a state­ment teams were ready to help re­move rain wa­ter in res­i­den­tial ar­eas and ma­jor roads, in ad­di­tion to re­mov­ing fall­ing trees and large quan­ti­ties of sand. His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad AlSabah said the gov­ern­ment was fol­low­ing up closely the sit­u­a­tion across the coun­try amid the un­sta­ble weather con­di­tions and heavy rains. There are di­rect in­struc­tions to all min­istries to take nec­es­sary mea­sures to main­tain safety of cit­i­zens and their prop­er­ties, His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter said. Of­fi­cials who will not ful­fill their du­ties well, will be held ac­count­able, he vowed. In con­fer­ence call with the con­cerned min­is­ters, His High­ness the Pre­mier af­firmed the ne­ces­sity of mak­ing sure that all gov­ern­ment bod­ies are ready to deal with the cur­rent weather con­di­tions. Ear­lier in the day, the In­te­rior Min­istry urged mo­torists to be cau­tious enough while driv­ing on roads dur­ing heavy rains hit­ting the coun­try. The mo­torists also are ad­vised to leave an enough space ahead of other ve­hi­cles, as well as avoid sud­den stops.

Stay in­doors

The Min­istry of In­te­rior and Kuwait Fire Ser­vice Direc­torate had urged the pub­lic to stay in­doors, un­less it is nec­es­sary, due to wa­ter­logged roads in some ar­eas in the coun­try. “We call on cit­i­zens and res­i­dents to stay in­doors un­less it is ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial due to some wa­ter­log­ging in most of the coun­try’s roads,” KFSD’s Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Khaled Al-Mekrad said in a press state­ment. Fire­fight­ing teams are cur­rently on alert to deal with any sit­u­a­tion and an­swer emer­gency calls via se­cu­rity line (112), Al-Mekrad said. KFSD re­ceived more than 170 emer­gency calls, most of which, over 80, from Ah­madi gov­er­norates re­ported elec­tric short cir­cuit ac­ci­dents, peo­ple stuck in­side their ve­hi­cles due to wa­ter­log­ging, and some house base­ment flood­ing in­ci­dents, he noted, adding his teams dealt with these sit­u­a­tions suc­cess­fully, and that no in­juries were re­ported. Mean­while, MoI men­tioned that se­cu­rity teams, in co­op­er­a­tion with pub­lic works min­istry, are cur­rently work­ing on the roads that closed due to wa­ter­log­ging, urg­ing driv­ers to co­op­er­ate with traf­fic po­lice in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate traf­fic, com­mit to traf­fic rules, and take all nec­es­sary

and safety pre­cau­tions.

Vol­un­teers ready to as­sist


Max­i­mum readi­ness

Kuwait’s Na­tional Guard has an­nounced a state of max­i­mum readi­ness at the ad­min­is­tra­tive sup­port units due to weather con­di­tions en­gulf­ing the coun­try. Na­tional Guard’s Un­der­sec­re­tary Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Hashem Al-Re­faie has raised readi­ness to the max­i­mum level at the ad­min­is­tra­tive sup­port units, the Na­tional Guard said in a state­ment Fri­day. It added that Al-Re­faie took part in a meet­ing, which in­cluded Min­is­ter of Health Sheikh Bas­sel AlSabah and min­istries’ of­fi­cials within the frame­work of ac­ti­vat­ing the emer­gency plan to tackle im­pacts of the heavy show­ers hit­ting the coun­try. The guard ear­lier in the day an­nounced the for­ma­tion of six tech­ni­cal emer­gen­cies to fol­low up the ex­erted ef­forts to back the gov­ern­ment bod­ies tasked with tack­ling the im­pacts of rains and ac­cu­mu­lated wa­ter to en­sure smooth traf­fic on roads and face any emer­gency, in im­ple­men­ta­tion of the 2020 strate­gic goals’ doc­u­ment.

Oil sec­tor de­clares emer­gency

A state of emer­gency was an­nounced at the Kuwait Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion (KPC) and its sub­sidiaries on Fri­day due to the cur­rent un­sta­ble weather, spokesman for the oil sec­tor Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said. He added that the emer­gency rooms of the oil in­sti­tu­tions were ac­ti­vated. Sheikh Talal said all con­cerned teams are ex­ist­ing at all oil in­sti­tu­tions. They are on alert to deal with emer­gen­cies caused by heavy show­ers, he added, stress­ing that sit­u­a­tion is cur­rently sta­ble re­gard­ing the pro­duc­tion and ex­port process. The KPC and its sub­sidiaries are keen on the safety of all work­ers, through a max­i­mum readi­ness of con­cerned teams to re­spond to any emer­gency, he noted.

Mean­while, the Kuwait Oil Com­pany (KOC) on Fri­day de­clared a state of emer­gency be­cause of weather con­di­tions en­gulf­ing the coun­try. The con­cerned teams are deal­ing with all com­plaints re­gard­ing the heavy show­ers, KOC spokesman and deputy CEO for fi­nan­cial and ad­min­is­tra­tive af­fairs Ah­mad Al-Hamad said in a press state­ment. Com­plaints are dealt with in line with the fol­lowed mea­sures in the com­pany, he said. “We put into con­sid­er­a­tion the safety of all com­pany’s staff and all cit­i­zens of Al-Ah­madi city,” he af­firmed.

Also, the Kuwait Na­tional Petroleum Com­pany’s spokesman Bassem Al-Isa said show­ers did not cause any dam­age to re­finer­ies. He added that the com­pany is op­er­at­ing nor­mally in line with its planned pro­gram. Some units sus­tained lim­ited and in­ef­fec­tive dam­age, he said, adding that teams are deal­ing with this mat­ter ef­fi­ciently. Wa­ter leak into Al-Ah­madi re­fin­ery’s gate was tack­led, he noted, re­fer­ring that ac­tion has not been ef­fected due to the leak.

All re­sources

Mean­while, Sheikha Amthal Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber AlSabah, Chair­per­son of the Kuwait Vol­un­tary Work Cen­ter (KVWC), an­nounced yes­ter­day plac­ing the cen­ter re­sources at dis­posal of the con­cerned au­thor­i­ties to aid cit­i­zens due to heavy rain and weather in­sta­bil­ity. Sheikha Amthal said in a state­ment that she con­tacted the cab­i­net, ex­press­ing readi­ness to back up its ef­forts in the face of the cur­rent prob­lems due to the rainy weather. She ap­pealed to cit­i­zens to sup­port the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship, co­op­er­ate with the com­pe­tent au­thor­i­ties and ne­glect ru­mors. Sol­i­dar­ity of the Kuwaiti peo­ple un­der the cur­rent cir­cum­stances de­pict such a stance in hard con­di­tions. All dis­abled peo­ple to­tal­ing 594 at Su­laibikhat and South Sabahiya com­plexes are safe and un­harmed amid the heavy rains hit­ting the coun­try, head of emer­gency com­mit­tee at the Pub­lic Author­ity of The Dis­abled (PAD) Amer Al-Enzi said on Fri­day. The emer­gency team are still ful­fill­ing their du­ties to­wards the dis­abled and staff un­til the end of the cur­rent un­sta­ble weather, he added in a press state­ment Fri­day evening.

In­dus­trial fa­cil­i­ties safe

In the mean­time, a se­nior in­dus­try of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day that all state-owned in­dus­trial in­stal­la­tions and util­i­ties in Kuwait have not been af­fected by the cur­rent wave of heavy rains in the coun­try. “All ser­vices and in­fra­struc­tures of in­dus­trial zones have not been harmed. They are all op­er­at­ing nor­mally,” Di­rec­tor­Gen­eral of the Pub­lic Author­ity for In­dus­try (PAI) Ab­de­laka­reem Taqi said. Drains at Al-Shuaiba In­dus­trial Area are op­er­at­ing in a nor­mally ef­fi­cient mode, in spite of some cracks, he added. All in­dus­trial ar­eas na­tion­wide have been put on high alert and all se­nior of­fi­cials on duty round-the-clock, the PAI chief pointed out. The author­ity is putting all po­ten­tials at the dis­posal of emer­gency teams who are do­ing their ut­most to check and main­tain all in­dus­trial zones, Taqi con­firmed.

Flights un­af­fected

Air nav­i­ga­tion via Kuwait In­ter­na­tional Air­port was pro­ceed­ing reg­u­larly yes­ter­day de­spite the un­sta­ble weather. Of­fi­cial Spokesman of Kuwait’s Direc­torate Gen­eral of Civil Avi­a­tion (DGCA) Saad Al-Otaibi said in a state­ment that the author­ity had be­gun im­ple­ment­ing a con­tin­gency plan since Tues­day. The emer­gency state will re­main in force un­til nor­mal weather con­di­tions are re­stored. Teams of tech­ni­cians have been work­ing round the clock to en­sure nor­mal work at the air­port fa­cil­i­ties.

Me­te­o­rol­o­gist Ab­du­laziz Al-Qarawi said the cur­rent rainy weather was ex­pected to con­tinue through to­day morn­ing. Kuwait’s me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal of­fice had is­sued weather warn­ings yes­ter­day for ‘an in­creas­ing po­ten­tial for spotty and thun­dery show­ers.’ “The un­sta­ble weather grip­ping the coun­try is likely to per­sist later (yes­ter­day) with a chance of in­ter­mit­tent down­pours at vary­ing in­ten­si­ties, Qarawi said, adding that weather con­di­tions were ex­pected to grad­u­ally im­prove af­ter mid­day to­day.

His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah on Fri­day af­firmed that the gov­ern­ment was fol­low­ing up closely the sit­u­a­tion across the coun­try amid the cur­rent weather con­di­tions. He vowed that of­fi­cials who fail to ful­fill du­ties well would be held ac­count­able for any neg­li­gence. On the wake of this, Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Works and Min­is­ter of State for Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs Hos­sam Al-Roumi sub­mit­ted his res­ig­na­tion over dam­age of prop­er­ties of both cit­i­zens and ex­pa­tri­ates. — KUNA

KUWAIT: A street in Fa­ha­heel sub­merged with wa­ter. —KUNA and Min­istry of De­fense pho­tos

Min­istry of De­fense per­son­nel help drain wa­ter from a sub­merged street.

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