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Severe storms bring disruption and much-needed rain to drought-stricken Morocco

flood-drought-morocco-january-2021

The start of 2021 in Morocco was marked by heavy rainfall that caused disruptions and significant infrastructural damage, particularly to Casablanca. The deluge also brought much-needed water to the country's dams and reservoirs, after two years of drought.

On January 6, 2021, several roads in various cities in the country were shut after heavy rains triggered flooding, paralyzing normal life across the country.

At Boulevard Zerktouni, one of the main arteries of the capital, the sidewalk was entirely inundated while many cars floated.

The same situation was reported in other boulevards, such as Roudani and Moulay Ismail. Firefighters had to intervene and rescue stranded people in vehicles.

"There are traffic jams all over the city because of the floods. I came from the highway and I thought that at Zerktouni it would circulate better, but the tunnel is closed so it’s the same thing. I’ve been in my car for five hours," said one motorist.

Significant damage to infrastructure and property was reported in Casablanca, one of the worst affected cities. Public transport was halted, and some neighborhoods were also flooded.

Meanwhile, heavy rains provided much-needed water to dams and reservoirs in the country after two years of drought.

According to reports from Morocco’s Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics, and Water, the country was in dire need of water resources as dams and reservoirs were depleting.

In 2020, the country reported its lowest level of rainfall since 2015. But this year's heavy rainfall helped alleviate the problem, the ministry said. 

Dams in Souss-Masa filled by 24.63 percent due to the recent rain, while dams across the nation are rapidly being filled with fresh water.

The reservoir at Aoulouz was filled by 70.15 percent, the dam at Mokhtar Soussi increased by 51.06 percent, and Dkhila's reservoir has been completely filled.

Featured image credit: @Nikichinn/Twitter

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