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Heavy rains in UAE: Extensive flooding in Dubai; 18 dead in Oman (WATCH)

Heavy rains caused widespread flooding and disruption in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), particularly in Dubai, while neighbouring Oman grappled with a rising death toll from severe flooding. The deluge led to submerged highways, abandoned vehicles, flight disruptions, and school closures in the UAE

Heavy rains in UAE: Extensive flooding in Dubai; casualties in Oman
First Published Apr 16, 2024, 3:23 PM IST

Severe rainfall battered the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, triggering extensive flooding and turmoil in Dubai as major highways became submerged and vehicles were abandoned on the roads. Simultaneously, in neighbouring Oman, the death toll from severe flooding escalated to 18, with several individuals still unaccounted for as the sultanate prepared for the brunt of the storm.

The relentless downpour commenced overnight, inundating streets and creating vast pools of water, while strong winds disrupted flights at Dubai International Airport, a key global travel hub and the operational base of Emirates, a leading long-haul carrier.

In the midst of the deluge, law enforcement and emergency responders cautiously navigated through the flooded thoroughfares, their flashing emergency lights cutting through the pre-dawn darkness. Occasional bursts of lightning illuminated the sky, occasionally striking the iconic Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure globally.

Ahead of the anticipated storm, schools across the UAE, comprising seven sheikhdoms, were largely closed, and governmental personnel transitioned to remote work setups where feasible. Despite precautions, some residents ventured outdoors, only to find themselves stranded as their vehicles became immobilized in the unexpectedly deep waters engulfing numerous roads.

In response to the flooding, authorities deployed tanker trucks to the streets and highways to extract the surplus water. The scarcity of rain in the UAE, coupled with insufficient drainage infrastructure due to infrequent precipitation, exacerbated the flooding crisis.

Initial reports revealed that Dubai received more than 30 millimetres (1 inch) of rainfall in the morning, with forecasts projecting up to 128 mm (5 inches) throughout the day. Additionally, rainfall was reported in Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, in Oman, positioned on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, the National Committee for Emergency Management disclosed on Tuesday that the death toll from heavy rains had risen to 18. Among the casualties were 10 schoolchildren who were swept away in a vehicle alongside an adult. Leaders from across the region extended condolences in response to the tragic incident.

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