Philippine schools suspend classes until Sunday due to flooding, holiday

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Heavy rains that caused flooding in many areas of Doha on Wednesday prompted two Philippine schools to suspend classes until Sunday to ensure the safety of their students and employees.

The Philippine School of Doha (PSD), at Old Murror Al Messilah Area, prevented students from entering the premises since its classrooms had been flooded.

Those who came early had to call their parents to pick them up. Electricity had also been switched off to prevent any electrocution.

PSD principal Alexander Acosta told Gulf Times that the water reached knee-high and did not subside until evening.

He said classes will resume on Monday since the coming Sunday will be a legal holiday in the Philippines.

The Philippine International School Qatar, at Ain Khalid, also announced that it will resume classes on Monday.

Some parents of students at the American School of Doha said they were told that classes had been suspended on Wednesday and will resume only on Sunday. There will be no classes on Thursday to give way for the Thanksgiving Day, according to a parent.

At Edison International Academy in Dal Al Hamam, a staff member said school officials had immediately pulled out students after waters started entering the premises.

In other schools, it is learnt that some documents, gadgets and equipment such as projectors had been damaged by the flooding.

A staff from an international school along D-Ring Road told Gulf Times that the Supreme Education Council issued a memo in the morning telling them to immediately send students home.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior on its Facebook account urged motorists to be cautious while driving during a rainy weather such as keeping a safe distance, avoiding sudden breaking, and avoiding using hazard lights, among others.

“As the rain is continuing to pour in varying degrees in different parts of the country, motorists are advised to be cautious and follow safety instructions,” it noted. “In case of any emergency, don't hesitate to call 999 – as well you may call to report water-logging on roads, electrical short circuit or any other emergency situation.”

Trucks from the Civil Defence were also immediately deployed to help clear flooded areas in many parts of Doha.

Rains started pouring around 7.20am and traffic build-up followed in inner streets, major roads and intersections in the city.

Many employees travelling to West Bay said it took them more than two hours to reach their offices and those who were on their way home at noon also complained of traffic snarls.

“I left the house at 8.10am and reached our office in front of City Centre Doha past 10am. Normally it will only take around 25 minutes to reach there,” said an Asian expatriate who lives  at East Al Hilal.

Some residents who live in flooded villas and accommodations had a hard time going to their cars which were parked metres away from their buildings. It is also learnt that a number of events and activities scheduled for Thursday had been cancelled.

Around 1.45pm, traffic flow along major road such as the D-Ring, C-Ring and Al Shamal had significantly improved.