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26 November 2015 08:15 am

Heavy rain lashes Doha

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<p>Life was thrown out of gear in Qatar yesterday when the country was lashed with more rain in less than two hours than what it gets in a whole year.<br />Roads were flooded and many buildings, including  Hamad International Airport (HIA), developed leaks in the heavy downpour that lasted from 7am to 8.30am, preceded and followed by a prolonged drizzle.<br />Though the Supreme Education Council (SEC) declared holiday for all schools yesterday, today will be a normal working day.<br />More rain is expected in the southern part of Qatar, but with less intensity, until  this evening, Qatar Meteorology Department’s forecasting and analysis head Abdulla al-Mannai told Gulf Times.<br />Until noon yesterday, HIA and its neighbouring areas had received 80.8mm of rain, far exceeding the 74mm of rainfall Qatar receives, on an average, each year, as calculated by the World Bank.<br />The second heaviest rainfall was received in Abu Hamour (31.8mm), followed by Abu Samra (26.5mm), Mesaieed (17.8mm), Qatar University (17.5mm) and Doha Airport (16.9mm). Other stations across the country recorded single-digit figures until noon.<br />Some parts of northern Qatar – located away from recording stations – also received heavy rain yesterday. The minimum and maximum temperatures in the country today are expected to be 19C and 26C, respectively, with the forecast for Doha being 21C and 25C.<br />Yesterday’s heavy downpour created serious inconvenience to a large number of people as many low-lying areas were flooded. Traffic was bumper to bumper on all roads until noon.<br />Though many residents were happy to receive the rains in the beginning, very soon they found it difficult to reach their offices on time while many others had to rush back to  schools to collect their children once the holiday was announced.<br />Among the other buildings reported to have experienced leakage in the rain were the Traffic Department headquarters in Madinat Khalifa, Sheraton Doha, Hilton Doha, Ashghal headquarters, the Villaggio, Ezdan Mall, Kempinski Residences &amp; Suites, Katara Cultural Village’s underground parking, an independent school and many high rises in the upscale West Bay area of Doha.<br />According to sources, flights from and to Hamad International Airport were not affected by the rain and all services were operated on schedule.<br />Residents, both citizens and expatriates, came to the rescue of stranded people, helping them to haul their vehicles out of the pools formed after the morning downpour. </p><p><em>Souce:</em></p>