Further deadly storms in Morocco

The North African country has suffered the rain and enjoyed the snow.

Heavy rain in Morocco left the pitch more like a rice paddy [EPA]
Heavy rain in Morocco left the pitch more like a rice paddy [EPA]

The after match shower looked like it was taking place during the game when Western Sydney Wanderers took on Cruz Azul in the FIFA Club World Cup quarter finals in Rabat this last weekend. Heavy rain in Morocco left the pitch more like a rice paddy.

That was the lighter side of what was more a story of dangerous, and for some, deadly weather. The statistical average rainfall for Rabat is not spectacular at around 100mm in both November and again in December. But it becomes spectacular when it falls in one day.

In Morocco, where almost all rain falls out of thunderstorms, flash floods are not unusual and this year, sadly, deaths have been the result.
In July, 23 died, in September 4 children were swept away. November saw at least another 35 dead, the southern province of Guelmim, which was worst affected by the floods, accounted for 24 of the fatalities, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Eleven bodies were recovered from the Oued Talmaadart alone. Oued Talmaadart is near the city of Guelmim and is normally a dry riverbed, but that turned into a raging brown waterway because of the storm.

Now, in December, another 4 fatalities have been reported: Emergency workers retrieved two bodies from the ruins of three houses hit by wind and torrential rain in Casablanca. In the city of Safi, 250km southwest of Casablanca, a mother and child were found dead, together.

The cause of death, more often than not, is collapsed buildings when raging torrents undermine the ground upon which they stand.

So far this month, Tangiers has collected 75mm of rain, it fell on two days – 4th and 14th.  Casablanca has collected half as much, on the same two days.

The weather system responsible is now winding itself up into a frenzy in the Mediterranean and is throwing lightning bolts at Italy.

It has left one pleasing legacy: the town of Ifrane, which holds the honour of having recorded the lowest temperature in Africa of -24C, is now snow-covered. Ifrane is also a ski resort so that should keep the locals happy.

Source : Al Jazeera

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