Record rainfall hits World Cup 2022 construction in Qatar, PM calls foul

Qatar's Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani © Philippe Wojazer
Qatar's prime minister has ordered an inquiry after heavy rain and flooding exposed poor construction in the country set to host the FIFA World Cup 2022.

More than a year's worth of rain fell on the oil-rich state in just a few hours, and Doha's Hamad International Airport saw water pour through a section of its roof.

The Qatar Meteorology Department reported almost 80mm of rain fell in the area around the airport between midday on Tuesday and noon on Wednesday.

Social media users posted videos of water pouring through the roof at the passenger terminal, which opened in April 2014, six years behind schedule.

Many of Doha's streets were flooded, causing congestion and forcing shops to close. A section of ceiling collapsed inside the Ezdan Mall and the Sheraton Hotel was also affected by flooding.

Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani ordered that all government bodies and private companies involved in the construction of rain-affected buildings would be investigated and face possible prosecution.

Qatar is under pressure to complete more than $200 billion worth of infrastructure projects, including a $35-billion metro system, new motorways and a $7-billion port before the World Cup, which will take place in November and December 2022.

It has reduced the number of stadiums being constructed for the tournament from 12 to eight amid escalating costs.

Human rights groups say migrant building workers are being subjected to serious abuses, including forced labor and trafficking.

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