Residents and poilice gather near a flooded underpass in al-Mangaf district, south of Kuwait City, early in the morning on November 10, 2018. / AFP / Yasser Al-Zayyat Image Credit: AFP

Manama: Kuwait has switched to clean-up mode as it grapples with the terrible aftermath of last week’s heavy downpour.

The cabinet is scheduled to hold an emergency session late on Saturday to review the situation and follow up on reports on the impact of heavy rain, a senior government official said.

“The cabinet is keenly following consequences, as well as measures being taken by all concerned government entities in a bid to ensure the safety of citizens and expatriates,” Anas Al Saleh, deputy premier and minister of state for cabinet affairs, said in a press release.

Mechanisms and means to support those affected by the downpour and to hold accountable those who fell short of performing their duties, be they government officials or contractors, will be discussed in the meeting, Al Saleh said.

Bahrain and Oman offered their assistance and support in telephone calls on Saturday to their Kuwaiti counterpart. They both offered their wishes of safety and security to all the people living in the northern Arabian Gulf state, Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) reported.

Health Minister Shaikh Basel Al Sabah said the emergency plan would remain operational until the country is back to its normal stature.

“The health ministry launched the emergency plan since the first day of the rains, and it is still operating until the weather is fine again,” he said. “All ministry personnel are carrying out their duties in accordance with the plan.”

He added that 409 cases have been treated at the emergency department.

“We urge all Kuwaitis and expatriates, especially those with chronic diseases, to stay at home and to keep themselves to dry places with their medicine near them,” he said.

The health undersecretary and the assistant undersecretary for technical affairs have been assessing the level of readiness in hospitals in anticipation of emergency cases.

The education ministry said that schools would normally reopen on Sunday after they were shut alongside other public departments and institutions to keep students home and allow servicemen to deal with the outpour without the hindrances caused by heavy traffic and congestion.

However, the ministry said some schools could be kept closed until safety is fully guaranteed.

Water and Electricity Minister Bakheet Al Rasheedi chaired a meeting with his senior staff and declared a state of emergency.

The minister ordered a full and permanent monitoring of the production stations and networks.

Civil Defence officers said they had to deal with 868 requests for rescue, emanating mainly from drivers trapped in their vehicles.