More than Dh300,000 lost: Kalba residents grapple with damages after heavy rains

Residents are still recovering from the unstable weather that hit the eastern coast of UAE more than a week ago


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Sat 24 Feb 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 24 Feb 2024, 9:47 PM

More than a week has passed since heavy rains wreaked havoc in the eastern coast of the UAE, particularly in some neighbourhoods of Kalba. As floods receded, residents made their way back home only to be welcomed with the daunting task of cleaning up and replacing damaged furniture. Some grappled with the reality of lost passports and destroyed belongings.

Iftikar Alam, a stockkeeper at a tiles warehouse residing with his uncle in Mughaider, Kalba, has not yet been to his accommodation and is worried about his passport being washed away in the floods. “Our neighbourhood was submerged in water and it is now cleared by the authorities. But our house is in the low-lying area and the water is still logged,” said Alam.

When it rained heavily, Alam was sleeping. His uncle woke him up, instructing him to gather essential items and leave the house within minutes. “I dressed up and carried the required essentials. I believed the rain would subside and we would return home the next day."

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“The only thing that is worrying me for over a week is that I left my passport in the drawer of my cupboard and I am praying that it is safe,” said Alam.

Furniture, homeware damaged

The aftermath of heavy rains in Kalba has left a scene of destruction, with many residents returning home to find their furniture damaged by the flooding. Waterlogged sofas, warped wooden tables and dishevelled cabinets can be seen in the photos shared by residents of Kalba with Khaleej Times.

This has left behind the challenging task of salvaging what homeware can be saved and replacing what cannot. “It's disheartening to see our homes in such a state. The process of cleaning and replacing essential items is an enormous task,” said Pramod Pattanoor, central committee secretary, Kairali Cultural Association Fujairah Kalba Unit.

“The sofas, dining table, bed, refrigerator, washing machine and even the cupboard of our house need replacement, as it is completely damaged by flooding,” said Pramod.

“The process of cleaning the house will take a lot of time and will cost a lot for homeware replacement,” added Pramod.

Temporarily moved to other towns

Kamil Shareef, a business owner and a resident of Al Mahatta in Kalba, had sent his family to his brother’s house in Sharjah. “As we were told to evacuate and to relocate to hotels and schools, my wife wasn’t comfortable. Instead, she requested going to my brother’s place in Sharjah. It would have not been a good idea to stay with our newborn during the harsh weather,” Shareef.

“They are still at my brother's place and will return once the house is transformed into a livable condition,” said Shareef.

Incurring costs over Dh10,000

For some unfortunate residents in Kalba, the repercussions of the heavy rains go beyond the emotional toll, making it a financial burden. “The damage to my home and possessions are now facing losses exceeding Dh10,000. The costs are attributed to the destruction of furniture, electronics and personal belongings, along with the need for extensive cleaning and repairs,” said Pramod.

Similarly, with Shareef, the repair and replacement cost go beyond Dh7,000. “I still don’t have an idea about the condition of my house. I am sure that I will have to replace the furniture and electronics,” said Shareef.

Businesses face loss of millions

The torrential rains in Kalba have not only taken a toll on residents, but have also dealt a severe blow to local businesses, resulting in collective losses reaching millions. Many establishments are grappling with the aftermath of the flooding as they experience damage to inventory, infrastructure and operational disruptions.

“We had just secured a contract for the interior construction of a 10-floor building. All the orders were prepared and poised for dispatch. However, the flooding has inflicted damage on the ready products,” said an owner of a furniture establishment based in Kalba.

“The cost of this is over Dh300,000. We have incurred losses on inventory, expensive machines, raw materials and much more,” added the owner.

Nabil Mohammed, manager at Al Fesoul Metallic Doors and Windows, said that they are still unable to estimate the loss. “We have been trying a way to figure out how to estimate our losses. We will be doing it soon as the water receded on Wednesday."

“Most of our inventory is in not usable condition. We have to order it again and our machines have to be repaired,” he added.


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