Crime and Courts

Body of man swept away by rainwater found in RAK

Ahmed Shaaban And Salah Al Deberkey (
Filed on November 19, 2013
Body of man swept away by rainwater found in RAK

The body of an Emirati man who went missing after his vehicle was washed away in the Haqeel Wadi in Ras Al Khaimah during Sunday’s torrential rain, was discovered on Monday afternoon — while eight students left stranded in their school bus were saved by air rescue teams.

Hassan Al Shimeili’s pickup vehicle lifted from the Haqeel Wadi in Ras Al Khaimah on Sunday. — Supplied photo

Turbulent weather in the emirate led to as many as 164 reports to the Central Operations Room of the RAK Police from people heavily impacted by the rains on Sunday and Monday, and Director of Public Works and Services in Ras Al Khaimah Ahmed Al Hammadi, declared a state of emergency on Monday afternoon due to the ongoing downpours.

Deputy Chief of the RAK Police Brigadier Mohammed Al Nubi said search operations for missing 22-year-old Hassan Rashid Al Shimeili continued late into the night on Sunday, but rescue teams only managed to find his vehicle, which was later removed from the wadi.

“Three frogmen searched for his body in a deep hole at the Wadi, but in vain,” he said.

In collaboration with the Search and Rescue teams of the Abu Dhabi Police, search operations by RAK divers resumed early into Monday morning, he said, which is when the discovery was made.

“Hassan’s body was found close to a nearby farm in the area, and was shifted to the morgue of the hospital where his relatives collected and buried him.”

Elaborating, Head of the RAK Ambulance and Rescue Department Captain Tariq Al Shirhan, said young Al Shimeili was watching and enjoying the drenching rainfall very close to the edge of the Haqeel Wadi, when tragedy struck. “All of a sudden, the windy showers dragged his (Hassan’s) car and he got lost in the deep and running waters.”

Being alerted f the incident, air ambulance and rescue teams rushed to the scene and initiated search operations, with complaints about vehicles being swept away at the Beih and Haqeel wadis, being reported too.

Of the 164 reports received by RAK Police, Brig Al Nubi said 43 vehicles were safely towed after becoming trapped by the drenching rains, including a school bus.

“The affected people included eight students who were saved by the air rescue teams after their school bus was deeply surrounded by high pouring waters.”

The inundating rains have also led to a massive power outage in five major areas of the emirate and Al Hammadi said they have so far responded to 14 reports for sucking rain waters.

“Other tankers were sent to suck the accumulated water on the roads of the city, and maintenance works are on to fix the collapsed lighting posts,” he said.

Brig Al Nubi said since Sunday, they have deployed 19 patrols across the roads of the emirate, particularly those flooded with rain water, to ensure smooth traffic flow as the bad weather continues.

“Ten people received various injuries in six accidents so far, and all were attended to. The wounded were shifted to the hospital for treatment,” he said, referring to cases from Sunday and Monday.

Meanwhile, tens of houses were flooded and many vehicles were swept away by the rains at Beih Valley, as well as the Al Rams, Khor Khuweir, and Al Shaml areas of RAK.

Al Shirhan said the over flooded valleys have caused extensive damage to the houses of Emirati residents staying at the Rashid district of Al Rams area, while patrols are continuing at all traditional areas to ensure people’s safety.

“All the bodies concerned have already started sucking accumulated waters from the drowned houses, and public roads, particularly as many nationals are trapped in their houses at the Beih Wadi.”

Though trapped Emiratis were unable to drive their vehicles out due to the rains, they were all saved by the civil defence and rescue teams at the area.

Director General of the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (Fewa) Mohammed Saled, said they are now fixing ten power supplying devices at the areas of Shireisha, Shaam, and Fahleen, as well as the valleys of Ghalila and Beih, “The power cut is mainly due to the flooded valleys which hit the electricity supplying machines.”

All maintenance teams are now fixing all damages, and restoring power. “However, it is still very tough to fix the electricity supplying device at the Hageel and Beih valleys because of the flooded valleys.

Good water flow to dams
Meanwhile, across the country, records show that four million cubic metres of rainwater — equal to 880 million gallons — had fallen from November 14 to 17, and was now being stored in lakes behind a total of 30 dams and barriers.

Director of the Dams Department at Ministry of Environment and Water Eng. Salem Fareed Akram, said rains mainly fell on the mountainous and plain inland areas.

He said Fujairah and Masafi had reported the highest rates of rainfall, but said the rainfall was good news for local agriculture. “Dams shall continue to stash up more rainwater, a matter which would boost the level and quality of underground water, and bode good news to a good agricultural season.”

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