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Intense rains, powerful winds and sandstorms wreak havoc in Qatar

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Intense rains accompanied by powerful winds and sandstorms wreaked havoc in Qatar over the past few days.

On May 1, severe storms destroyed a field hospital at the Umm Salal area, north of Doha. It was constructed just two weeks ago, specifically for accommodating patients with coronavirus. As of May 1, Qatar has a total of 14 096 COVID-19 cases.

A video posted by Arab News showed violent winds ripping through the establishment. The aftermath was captured in another video, showing the hospital shredded in crumbles, with a few people captured running away from the area.

In a separate incident, two expansion tents at Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital collapsed after winds of 72 km/h (45 mph) hit the area, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

The tents were part of the hospital's expansion for coronavirus patients. 23 staff members sustained injuries, mostly minor, but were immediately treated. All patients were unharmed and had been transferred to the hospital in Ras Laffan.

Executive director Hussein Ishaq said they took the incident very seriously, and an investigation is underway. "I want to express my appreciation to all the HMGH staff who heroically helped ensure that no patients were injured and were safely transferred to other hospitals to continue receiving care."

On April 30, the 787 Qatar Airways dreamer was blown away by strong winds, causing it to crash into another parked plane.

"During extreme weather conditions, with storms and high winds of 70 knots, a parked Qatar Airways 787-800 briefly shifted from its chocks and made contact with a QR A350-900," the airline said in a statement.

"The aircraft had been parked securely and chocked in accordance with AMM (aircraft maintenance manual) guidelines while operations at the airport had been temporarily suspended due to the high winds."

"No passengers or crew were on board at the time and the aircraft suffered only minor damage."

The weather has become milder by Friday evening, according to the Qatar Meteorological Department.

Featured image credit: Hadeel Oueis

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