BEIRUT

Middle East

Six Iraqi children die in heavy rains

Children play at a compound for the displaced in the Abu Dshir district of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. An estimated 1.55 million people are currently displaced inside Iraq, according to the International Organization for Migration. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Kut, Iraq: Six Iraqi children died when houses in the city of Kut collapsed during heavy rains, which also flooded Baghdad streets and destroyed homes elsewhere in the country, officials said on Tuesday.

Winter brings periodic heavy rains to Iraq, which the country is ill-equipped to handle, both in terms of shoddily-built homes that can buckle during storms and lacking drainage for flood waters.

The downpours collapsed homes in Kut, southeast of Baghdad, killing four children from one family and leaving two children dead and a man wounded from another family, a high-ranking health official said.

Homes were also destroyed in the northern province of Kirkuk, Diwaniyah province in central Iraq, and Maysan in the south, officials said.

The rain on Sunday and Monday also flooded streets in Baghdad, forcing drivers to either find new routes or forge ahead through the waters at slow speeds.

 

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