One dead in flooding as heavy rains hit Kuwait

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Residents and police gather near a flooded underpass in Al-Mangaf district, south of Kuwait City, early in the morning on November 10, 2018. (AFP)
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Municipal workers drain water from a flooded underpass in Al-Mangaf district, south of Kuwait City, early in the morning on November 10, 2018. (AFP)
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A man removes debris from a flooded street in Al-Fahaheel district, south of Kuwait City, following flash floods on November 10, 2018. (AFP)
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Damaged cars are pictured following heavy rain in a flooded parking lot in Al-Fahaheel district, south of Kuwait City, on November 10, 2018. (AFP)
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Municipal workers drain water from a flooded underpass in Al-Mangaf district, south of Kuwait City, early in the morning on November 10, 2018. (AFP)
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People check the damage in a residential area following heavy rain in Al-Fahaheel district, south of Kuwait City, on November 10, 2018. (AFP)
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Damaged cars are pictured following heavy rain in a flooded parking lot in Al-Fahaheel district, south of Kuwait City, on November 10, 2018.(AFP)
Updated 10 November 2018
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One dead in flooding as heavy rains hit Kuwait

JEDDAH: Flash floods after heavy rains in Kuwait killed one man Saturday and damaged roads, bridges and homes, officials said, as several oil firms and ministries announced a state of emergency.
The Ministry of Health said the man, aged 30, was swept away by the flooding as he tried to rescue his family from their home, which was submerged in water in Al-Fahaheel area in the east.
An unspecified number of people were also reported injured in traffic accidents caused by the rains.
Several vehicles in many areas of the desert kingdom were washed away by the floods, particularly in newly-build residential areas, AFP journalists said.
Kuwaiti National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-­Ghanim promised on Saturday that the family of the Kuwaiti citizen killed by heavy rains on Friday night would not be “left in the lurch.”
“The family of the martyr of the Al-­Fahaheel floods, Ahmad Al­-Fadhli, will not be let down, facing life challenges alone,” he said in a press statement following Al­-Fadhli’s funeral procession.
He added that he had to attend the funeral since he is the representative of the Kuwaiti people.
The Kuwaiti army and the national guard launched search operations as authorities set aside several locations to receive residents threatened by flooding.
The ministries of oil and electricity as well as several oil companies announced a state of emergency, and the government held an urgent cabinet session on Saturday morning.
Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah chaired the meeting and said that officials will be investigated and those who failed in their duties to prevent the flooding will be held accountable.
The state news agency KUNA, quoting the ministry of education, said that private and public schools would be closed on Sunday.
Kuwait’s meteorological office has issued weather warnings for the coming hours, with an increasing potential for spotty and thundery showers.
The unstable weather gripping the country is likely to persist later on Saturday with a chance of intermittent downpours at varying intensities, meteorologist Abdulaziz Al­-Qarawi told KUNA.
Weather conditions are expected to gradually improve after midday tomorrow, he indicated.
Bad weather accompanied by torrential rains and flash flooding has hit several countries in the region, including Jordan where 12 people have been killed and nearly 4,000 tourists forced to flee the famed ancient desert city of Petra.


Rights groups call for UN action on Egypt 'reprisals'

Updated 2 min 11 sec ago
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Rights groups call for UN action on Egypt 'reprisals'

  • They called on the UN to "ensure an urgent and robust system-wide response"
  • According to the UN, Farha's visit was the first to Egypt by an expert appointed by its Human Rights Council since 2011

GENEVA: Rights groups on Wednesday called for a "robust" response to a UN expert's allegations that people she met during a visit to Egypt faced harassment, intimidation and other reprisals afterwards.
A statement signed by six organisations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International urged an "independent UN investigation" into the accusations.
Last week the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, Leilani Farha, said she was "shocked" at the treatment of communities she met during her official visit from September 24 to October 3.
According to Farha, several families from two communities she met were later subjected to "forced evictions" and had their furniture thrown in the streets, leaving them homeless.
Other people she had contact with were summoned by the police for interrogation, and one faced "arbitrary arrest and undisclosed detention", the UN said.
"Egypt has failed to adhere to the assurances provided to me that no person would be harassed, intimidated or subjected to reprisal for meeting or providing information to me or my delegation," Farha said.
Her statement triggered an angry response from Egypt which accused her of "fabricating lies".
The rights groups warned that failing to act in response to the alleged reprisals "will only encourage similar human rights violations in the future and risk undermining the accessibility and credibility of the UN experts and wider human rights system."
They called on the UN to "ensure an urgent and robust system-wide response" and said its Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should review "any ongoing cooperation" with the Egyptian government.
The Egyptian authorities have clamped down on dissent, particularly among supporters of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was toppled by the military in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.
The crackdown was later expanded to include liberal and leftist secular activists.
According to the UN, Farha's visit was the first to Egypt by an expert appointed by its Human Rights Council since 2011.