Kuwait: Flights resume after flooding disrupted air traffic

Flights were diverted to nearby Manama, Dubai and Dammam airports as another round of rains battered the Gulf nation.

    Flights have resumed at Kuwait International Airport, Kuwait Airways said in a tweet on Thursday, a day after bad weather forced a suspension of air traffic.

    Earlier on Thursday, Kuwait's civil aviation authority had said air traffic at the airport would remain suspended until 4pm local time (1300 GMT) as another round of severe weather battered the Gulf nation.

    On Wednesday, Kuwait had halted all departing flights from the airport and redirected those landing to nearby Manama, Dubai and Dammam airports.

    "Rains overnight on Wednesday submerged main passages at the airport, resulting in diverting several incoming flights to Dubai, Bahrain and Dammam airports," said the head of Kuwait's civil aviation, Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah.

    Heavy rain has been lashing the country for the past two days, with the national meteorological department reporting 98mm rainfall.

    This is far more than the 18mm of rain usually seen in the month of November and is approaching the expected annual rainfall figure of 116mm.

    The Kuwaiti government ordered public offices and schools to close on Wednesday and Thursday as authorities stood on high alert and urged people to stay at home.

    The deluge has flooded roads, damaged a number of buildings and has affected the neighbouring countries of Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    In the Saudi city of Hafer Al-Batin, near the Kuwaiti border, 46 people had to be rescued from a bus after they were stranded due to a flash flood.

    This is the third time this month that Kuwait City has suffered flooding. The capital was inundated on November 5 and 10.

    The flooding on November 10 had killed a man as he tried to rescue his family from their submerged home.

    In an urgent session held on Wednesday, the Kuwaiti parliament accused the government of failing to take measures to protect civilians and infrastructure.

    Last week, the government had fired two top public works ministry officials. Public Works Minister Hussam Al-Roumi had submitted his resignation over the issue.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies