Iraq: Families flee Mosul homes following flash floods

Torrential rain inundates streets in northern Iraq, paralysing traffic, and forcing schools and offices to close.

    Nearly 85 families have fled their homes in various areas of the northern city of Mosul over the weekend, following two days of flash floods, an Iraqi civil defence official said on Monday.

    The heavy rain paralysed traffic, causing widespread disruption, with schools and offices closed.

    Six bridges and 300 tents in the Nimrud refugee camp were reportedly damaged as a result of the heavy rainfall.

    The floods were an outcome of unusually heavy and early rainfall which has been plaguing the Levant region for a few weeks now.

    It has piled pressure on Iraq's new government to provide services and fix infrastructure problems in the provinces hard-hit by the 2014-17 war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, and by years of neglect that critics blame on corruption.

    Mosul residents blame local and central governments, with one resident calling for the intervention of foreign experts to renovate the city's decaying sewage system.

    Heavy rain is expected to return across much of Iraq by the end of the week, with civil defence officials on alert to avoid further damage, officials said.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency