LONDON: Municipality workers in Baghdad on Saturday worked to pump water out of flooded roads after torrential rains hit several areas in Iraq, the state-run Iraq News Agency reported.
The municipality said it has fully mobilized all its workers and was working at maximum capacity to drain the rainwater throughout the capital, in joint cooperation with a government team, the Ministry of Interior, and the Civil Defense.
Municipality spokesman Mohammed Al-Rubaie said the intensity of the rain has doubled in the last 45 days and the meteorology directorate announced that it is falling at a rate of 70 millimeters per hour.
“It is rare for the capital, Baghdad, to be exposed to such an amount of rain,” he said.
Al-Rubaie added that “the emergency room, headed by the Baghdad mayor, the Ministry of Electricity, Baghdad operations, and the heads of 15 municipalities, have closely monitored the situation to facilitate the movement of vehicles and citizens.
He said the water has been controlled since the morning, with the exception of some areas where they will continue to work for the coming hours.
He added that the municipality is working to clear the four main public transport lines in Baghdad; two lines east of the canal and two lines west of the capital, as the lines flow into the river and the main stations.
He also said that “the main stations have stopped working, due to being drowned from the excessive rains,” adding that “they will return to work to drain the water, but that takes a certain amount of time.”
He noted that “some areas have run out of water, while others will run out.”
Al-Rubaie said that the municipality is facing a challenge when it comes to the houses located in the widespread agricultural areas in Baghdad, and they will only be able to access them after clearing the main areas.
He stressed that by Saturday evening, “all areas of Baghdad will be completely cleared, even the agricultural areas,” adding that “the efforts will continue until tomorrow, and the emergency room has been open for the past 45 days.”