Heavy rains hit the streets of the United Arab Emirates this week, leading to flash flooding and flooding of streets, with local police and emergency services working to rescue hundreds of stranded civilians. According to The National, 870 people were rescued, 3,897 people evacuated and there were 20 weather warnings between July 23 and July 28, including 70 warnings on social media. On Wednesday, weather officials said July was the wettest month in more than three decades.
The UAE Meteorological Service has issued a red warning over “dangerous weather conditions” expected to continue in the coming days, saying convective clouds could cause rain to “fall eastward and extend over some internal and southern areas.” reported the Khaleej Times.
Videos shared by the UAE Ministry of Interior show people – locals and tourists – being taken to safety by the police and other authorities.
A video showed a man carrying a child on his shoulders through what appears to be a river, but is actually a flooded street. Another video shared by a reporter for The National, Joyce Karam, shows flooded streets in the Kalba Market in the city of Fujairah.
Floods also damaged roads and roads, forcing people to take shelter in hotels after their homes were flooded. Fujairah authorities have warned hotels against raising room rates.
In the past 24 hours, more than 50 buses have been deployed to get people to safety and more than 100 volunteers have worked to clear up debris, The National said.
A spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCM) said the adverse weather was caused by an attack of overhead and surface air depression from northern India via South Pakistan en route to the UAE, resulting in heavy rainfall.
The agency said it was working with specialized police teams to respond to emergencies caused by flooding or heavy rain. Local reports say no deaths or serious injuries have been reported.
In recent days, parts of the UAE have received more than twice the country’s typical annual rainfall. The highest was at the Port of Fujairah, where 234.9mm fell from 10:30 p.m. Monday to 9:18 a.m. Thursday. The second was at Masafi – 209.7mm – and the third at Fujairah Airport with 187.9mm.
The NCM has said weather conditions will improve but warned of some rain.