Flooding wreaks havoc on homes in Bahrain
Manama, November 21, 2013
Hundreds of homes and businesses across Bahrain were flooded yesterday with rainwater reaching up to two metres in some areas.
The country's five municipal councils have been working round the clock to address a flood of complaints by residents since the first major downpour of the winter started on Sunday, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The Muharraq Municipal Council also demanded the resignation of senior officials at the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry, and Works Ministry.
Council chairman Abdulnasser Al Mahmeed said a failure to plan ahead for the rainy season was the main reason behind this week's chaos.
The Central Municipal Council also cancelled its weekly meeting yesterday so that councillors could ensure drainage work in residential areas was complete.
Chairman Abdulrazzak Al Hattab said scores of families in the Central Governorate were told to move in with relatives over safety concerns.
"We are worried that dilapidated homes would collapse as parts have fallen apart due to strong rainfall," said Al Hattab.
"Some less dangerous old homes listed for government repairs are now flooded with rainwater turning rooms into pools.
"Even homes, which were waterproofed by the government over the last six months, are flooding.
"Hundreds of homes have been affected and we are working non-stop to ensure that residents are moved out with concerns over their safety and wellbeing."
Al Hattab criticised the government for not establishing proper drainage systems, which he says would have prevented yesterday's chaos.
"We are already facing shortages in the number of tankers needed to drain neighbourhoods and roads. There are only 17 available (for the Central Governorate) while we need 30, so someone has to be present onsite to speed up work," he explained.
"Bad planning leads to chaos and now the government will have to allocate funding to compensate those who are affected from damages caused by the rain," he said.
Mall closed as rain damages roof
One of Bahrain's biggest shopping malls had to close yesterday after heavy downpours ripped a hole in part of its roof.
Strong winds battered Bahrain Mall's central canopy on Tuesday night, which covers the main entrance, causing it to rip.
The canopy was already weakened because firemen were forced to cut a hole in it to allow smoke to escape following a fire on October 27.
Mall officials fear the complex could remain shut today if torrential rains do not stop.
The shutdown has also delayed the opening of a new store, twenty4.
Manager Michael Simmelink said the rest of the facility was not damaged, but the cost of lost trade could reach up to BD200,000 a day.
A new canopy has already been ordered, but it is expected to take three weeks to manufacture and another two to instal.
In the meantime, Mr Simmelink said a temporary cover will be set up. - TradeArabia News Service