Dubai Airport floods, 18 dead as torrential rain lashes Gulf states

Floods at Dubai Airport

Source: X

Heavy rainfall has caused flash flooding across Gulf states, flooding one of the world’s busiest airports and killing at least 18 people.

Dubai Airport said operations were “temporarily diverted” late on Tuesday as nearly a year’s worth of rain fell in the United Arab Emirates on one day.

“We are temporarily diverting arriving flights this evening until the weather conditions improve. Departures will continue to operate,” the airport, announced on social media platform X.

It said it was working to restore normal operations, as the UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology warned of thunder, lightning, rain and possibly hail, with winds reaching up to 70km/h.

The UAE reportedly received nearly 130 millimetres of rain in 24 hours to Tuesday, almost the desert nation’s entire annual average.

Its National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority issued a safety alert urging people to stay at home unless in “extreme necessity”.

Schools were ordered to teach remotely on Tuesday and Wednesday, while most businesses were also told to allow people to work from home.

Heavy rain in Dubai

Source: X

In Bahrain, footage showed cars stranded in flooded roads.

In neighbouring Oman, a group of school children, aged between 10 and 15, and a driver died when their the vehicle they were travelling in attempted to cross a flooded area but was swept away.

Civil defence officials gave the death toll for the rain, in which Oman’s North Ash Sharqiyah province was hardest hit.

The Royal Oman Police and the Omani military had been sent to the province to transport citizens out of flooded areas, the state-run Oman News Agency reported.

Heavy rainfall often causes flash flooding in Oman, drawing the curious from their homes to nearby dry riverbeds, known in Arabic as “wadi”.

In flooding, they can quickly fill and wash away people and vehicles.

Rain is also unusual in the UAE, although more common during winter.

Because of the lack of regular rainfall, many roads and other areas have no drainage, which exacerbated the flooding.

-with AAP

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