Aid & Development

Iraq Calls for Relief After Nineveh Floods


Following the heavy rainfall last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi has asked the country's crisis unit and province governors to take the necessary measures to reduce the damage of the flooding. The Nineveh province was especially affected by the flooding, with dozens of houses being swept.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi asked the country’s crisis unit and governors of several governorates to take necessary measures to reduce the damage of floods that recently hit a number of Iraqi provinces, especially Nineveh.

Meanwhile, President Barham Saleh received at al-Salam Palace in Baghdad, a delegation of Shabak, Christians, and Arab tribal leaders and dignitaries of Nineveh Plain.

Following his meeting with the delegation, Salih pointed out “the need to respond to the legitimate demands of the people of Nineveh Plain,” asserting he will seek to meet the demands as they are “a constitutional and humanitarian duty.”

Salih’s office issued a statement asserting the president’s support to Nineveh people in such circumstances.

A wave of floods swept through several districts of Mosul blocking several bridges leading to Tal Afar and al-Slahiya and destroying al-Zanazel village. Dozens of houses were covered with water and the road linking Mosul and Erbil in Kurdistan was also blocked.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office said on Sunday that the priority was to protect the citizens and then preserve public and private properties. The statement revealed that 17 sectors were damaged by the floods, leading to the destruction of 340 tents, and citizens were evacuated to safe places.

For its part, the Ministry of Water Resources condemned reports claiming it issued a warning to residents near the Tigris River to evacuate their places to safe areas and denied opening the Mosul Dam.

“We categorically deny these unfounded rumors. Things are normal in Mosul and there is no need to worry,” the ministry reassured citizens in the statement.

It also explained that the floods are being directed smoothly from al-Shirqat to Baiji, and from there to Samarra dam in preparation for the transfer to Lake Tharthar.

Nineveh provincial council member Hassan al-Allaf indicated that the rains and floods destroyed many neighborhoods and areas.

Allaf said in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat that “the intensive efforts of provincial officials and the province’s declaration of a state of emergency on Saturday contributed to reducing losses and controlling the floods.”

He also lauded the efforts of the military operations command and all concerned departments which effectively reduced the risks.

Allaf pointed that the efforts focused mainly on the center of Mosul given its high population, noting there are remote villages that were surrounded by water because of the flood.

Director of Nineveh Civil Defense, General Hossam Khalil, asserted there were no civilian casualties in the floods, and told Asharq al-Awsat that 16 civil defense units were deployed throughout Mosul that evacuated about 80 families to safe areas until the rain and floods subsided.

He pointed out that the neighborhoods on both sides of the city were usually flooded during similar circumstances.

Ministry of Construction, Housing Municipalities and Public Works announced major campaigns Sunday to remove the debris from the destroyed buildings on the right side of Mosul.

The ministry’s statement asked owners of damaged properties to contact the Old City’s sector and submit their applications supported with documentation of ownership of the house to remove the ruins from the area.

“The campaign will continue for two months and will include all areas and neighborhoods of the Old City of Mosul along with other areas,” concluded the statement.

Image: Reuters

Article: Asharq al-Awsat