Authorities in the UAE have rescued over 870 people who were stranded in Sharjah and Fujairah after heavy rains lashed the eastern parts of the country. Addressing a virtual media briefing on Thursday, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Interior said no deaths or serious injuries were reported.
Despite the heavy rains flooding valleys, streets and homes, the damage was limited to material losses, as coordinated rescue missions saved lives.
Brigadier-General Dr Ali Salem Al Tunaiji, the ministry’s official spokesperson, said 3,897 people were given shelter as heavy rains fell.
Police, rescue and ambulance teams are working around the clock to protect people, property and ensure that traffic is not affected, he added.
Over 150 people were rescued after their homes were flooded. They were moved to hotels and other housing units.
Taher Al Ameri, official spokesperson of the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), said the Ministry of Community Development coordinated with 20 hotels and has secured 827 housing units that have the capacity to accommodate close to 2,000 people.
Over 55 buses were mobilised to transport people to hotels. Of over 100 volunteers on the ground, some helped rescue stranded residents, while others were stationed at temporary shelters to look after the rescued families, especially senior citizens.
Brigadier-General Dr Ali Salem said: “We send a direct message to the public to adhere to the instructions of the authorities concerned, to be careful and to abide by safety requirements.”
He advised people in rain-hit areas to not leave their homes — if not affected by the rains — unless absolutely necessary. “We stress the importance of driving with great caution, and staying away from valleys, torrents and rugged areas such as mountains.”
The NCEMA spokesperson said all authorities concerned are working as one to protect residents. In addition to rescue operations, efforts are underway to clear flooded areas.
“The NCEMA monitors weather fluctuations and ensures the readiness of all plans to deal with the aftermath of unstable conditions. All relevant authorities continue to monitor the situation and will implement safety measures as required,” said Al Ameri.
Users can monitor and control the system remotely and receive an early warning on the phone
Authority airlifts one casualty with assistance from the Ministry of Interior
Two people were fatally run over in separate incidents
Most were for minor accidents, traffic jams or some emergency cases
Cause of blaze under investigation
Civil Defense reaches the area in under 6 minutes