Doha and other parts of Qatar witnessed thunderstorms and heavy rain yesterday, prompting the authorities concerned to issue safety advisories for people to follow in such conditions.
Today, the Qatar Met department has said thundery rain is again expected in the country along with strong winds. Thundershowers have also been forecast in offshore areas in the early hours of the day, besides windy conditions and high seas.
With the downpour leaving a number of roads waterlogged, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) said rain emergency teams in different municipalities around the country were deployed to withdraw rainwater that had accumulated in different areas.
Safar Mubarak al-Shafi, Assistant Undersecretary for General Services Affairs at the MME and chairman of the joint rain emergency committee, said timely preparations by the panel and other authorities concerned enabled them to swiftly address the situation and related emergencies since early yesterday.
The amount of rainwater removed around the country from dawn until 12noon yesterday was nearly 8.2mn gallons. This was done in 1,499 batches with the participation of 613 workers, the MME said in a statement.
In addition, the municipal operations rooms received 235 reports, which were dealt with immediately. The efforts will continue until the rain is over, the MME stressed.
Al-Shafi said the emergency teams in municipalities started their work immediately after the rain started, and the focus was on removing water from the main roads to facilitate traffic, before moving to public utilities and residential areas affected by the showers.
Meanwhile, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) said it deployed around 350 pumps across the country to speed up the water-clearing process.
Ashghal also tweeted that it was closely following the weather changes and distributing tankers and equipment to clear accumulated water in areas that lacked drainage networks.
Sporadic rain was reported from Doha and other places since late on Monday night and the showers intensified in some areas yesterday, particularly since the evening. Besides rain, there were reports of hail from some places, including Mesaieed.
The Met department tweeted about an active thunderstorm south of Doha around 11pm yesterday. “Kindly take extra care as it might be accompanied by strong winds and hail at times,” it said.
Earlier, it said thunderstorms of variable intensity continued in Doha and the southern areas. Abu Hamour received some 43mm of rain, the highest recorded until then yesterday, while continued scattered thunderstorms were seen across the country, the department said in another Twitter post around 10pm.
The weather office also warned people to avoid staying outside in view of lightning strikes.
The Met department, MME, Ministry of Interior, Traffic Department, Ashghal and Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) issued advisories on how to stay safe during thunderstorms and rain.
The MME also issued rain emergency numbers at municipalities around the country, which can be found on its Twitter page.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said that as safety is their top priority, they decided to close the (FIFA Club World Cup) Fan Zone early last night due to the adverse weather conditions.