Saturday, April 23, 2011

Six missing as floods caused by heavy rain hit Kurdistan Region

Nineveh, April 23 (AKnews) – Hundreds of homes were flooded and six people reported missing as floods caused by heavy rains accompanied by high winds swept across northern Iraq late Friday evening and through early Saturday morning.baran
The rainfalls, the first such heavy rains in several years, covered most of the cities and towns of northern Iraq, in particular the Kurdistan Region and Nineveh province.
In the Kurdistan Region, most of the cities and towns reported floods. In some old neighborhoods of Erbil city, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, the level of flood water rose up to one meter.
In Nineveh province's town of Sinjar, a predominantly Kurdish town, for the first time in recorded history, some 200 houses came down as a result of the floods and high winds and six people have been reported missing.
Fawziyah Hasan, the director of weather forecasts in Nineveh, told AKnews that the houses in Sinjar fell down due to the high winds. According to the Kurdistan Weather Forecast and Meteorology office, the speed of the wind reached 50 km/h in some areas.
The Nineveh police media official said the houses were made of clay which is why they did not withstand the winds and rain.
He said among the six missing are three children and that it was only an initial toll.
Separately, two people drowned in flood waters in the same town. A source told AKnews that one of the two died after they were swept away by flood water, one of them along with his car.

In Erbil city, hundreds of houses were flooded with rising water level as the sewage systems of three neighborhoods failed to carry away the water.
Three power stations in the three neighborhoods had to be shut down due to the floods.
"Water had filled the basements of the power stations where many cables are" said Diyar Baban, the spokesman for the Electricity Ministry. Therefore, they had to shut it down to defer possible electricity shocks. The ministry's teams had to work over night to pump out the water in the basements.
Erbil governor Nawzad Hadi said those affected by the floods in the neighborhoods where the sewage system failed to carry the flood water will be compensated.
According to Hadi, the Peshmarga forces, police and other security force personnel had to be called in to help in severely affected areas of Erbil.
According to the Kurdistan Region's Weather Forecast and Meteorology office, heavy rains dumped some 65 mm of rain in Erbil over the past 24 hours and more is expected to fall. Sulaimaniyah and Duhok recorded 49 and 62 mm respectively.
The Kurdish town of Zakho on the Turkish border was hit hardest by the wave of heavy rains where some 105 mm of water fell in 24 hours.
Writen by Raber Y. Aziz
Rezan Ahmed, Khudr Khallat, Fryad Mohammed, and Dawan Hadi contributed to this story

23/04/2011 14:46