The prime minister of Qatar has ordered an investigation into five companies involved in building projects after bizarrely heavy rains caused extensive leaking, and floods brought the Gulf state to a standstill.
Schools and shopping malls were closed and buildings, including the multi-billion-dollar Hamad International Airport, which opened last year, leaked profusely as clouds dumped a year’s worth of rain on Qatar over nine hours yesterday.
Parties responsible for dereliction or negligence, whether governmental or private, will be held accountable– Qatar News Agency
The rains revealed flaws in building projects and five companies – so far – would be "referred to investigation and then to the Public Prosecution", under a directive from Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who is also the state’s interior minister.
The companies and the specific building projects were not named in the statement, made yesterday on the government’s official Qatar News Agency (QNA).
"[It] was decided that all concerned bodies and companies that implemented the projects, which the current rains and the weather conditions have revealed their flaws, must be referred to investigation and then to the Public Prosecution," the statement said.
It added that "parties responsible for dereliction or negligence, whether governmental or private, will be held accountable".
Videos posted on social media yesterday show rain pouring into the Hamad International Airport terminal building and staff struggling to deal with the pooling water.
The Doha News website reported that water also seeped into the Sheraton Hotel and that a section of ceiling collapsed inside the Ezdan Mall.
The bad weather also affected neighbouring Saudi Arabia. One person was reportedly killed by flooding in Rimah, north-east of Riyadh, a week after at least eight were killed in Medina and Jeddah.
Photograph: A boy rides a bicycle in a flooded street in the Qatari capital Doha following heavy rainfall on 25 November 2015 (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)