Gulf Region Struck by Severe Storms and Rains; Oman Casualty Count Reaches 18

Gulf Region Struck by Severe Storms and Rains; Oman Casualty Count Reaches 18 By Sruthi Nair - April 17, 2024
Dubai Airport

Dubai Airport

Dubai's main international airport initiated a diversion of all incoming flights yesterday as heavy rainfall inundated the city, leading to widespread flooding.

The airport, which had anticipated over 100 flights on Tuesday evening, briefly suspended operations earlier amidst the chaos triggered by the storm.

Dubai grappled with severe disruptions caused by the torrential rain, which also resulted in flooding across the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, while claiming 18 lives in Oman over Sunday and Monday.

A spokesperson from Dubai Airports announced, "Due to the ongoing extreme weather conditions in the UAE, Dubai International is redirecting inbound flights scheduled for this evening... until the situation improves." Departures, however, are set to continue, although the spokesperson cautioned about significant flooding on roads surrounding the airport and advised passengers to utilize public transportation.

Unverified images circulated on social media depicted planes navigating through aprons submerged in standing water, mirroring scenes witnessed across Dubai and other parts of the UAE.

Iconic shopping destinations like Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates faced flooding issues, and water levels reached ankle-deep in at least one Dubai Metro station, as per social media posts.

Heavy flooding affected roads and residential areas, with numerous reports of leaks from roofs, doors, and windows. Schools remained closed across the UAE, with the closure extending to Wednesday due to forecasted further storms. The Dubai government extended remote work arrangements for its employees into Wednesday.

In sporting events, the Asian Champions League football semi-final between the UAE's Al Ain and Saudi's Al Hilal, originally scheduled in Al Ain, was postponed by 24 hours due to adverse weather conditions.

Certain inland regions of the UAE recorded rainfall exceeding 80mm over 24 hours, nearing the annual average of approximately 100mm.

The weather advisory board urged residents to exercise caution and avoid flood-prone areas, issuing a warning via X.

Bahrain also experienced heavy rain and flooding following intense thunderstorms overnight.

These weather phenomena affected the UAE, Bahrain, and parts of Qatar following their passage through Oman, where they caused fatal floods and stranded numerous individuals.

According to the official Oman News Agency, the body of a child was recovered on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 18 with two individuals still missing. Flash floods claimed the lives of nine schoolchildren and three adults on Sunday, as reported by the news agency.


Source: Gulf Times

By Sruthi Nair - April 17, 2024

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