UAE floods: Fujairah expats appeal for support from diplomatic missions for damaged passports, documents

When the water entered their houses, some residents could only take their passports before fleeing to safety



Photo: Shihab
Photo: Shihab
by

Nasreen Abdulla

/

Waheed Abbas

/

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Thu 4 Aug 2022, 7:40 PM

Last updated: Fri 5 Aug 2022, 12:24 PM

Hundreds of expatriates in Fujairah are requesting assistance from their diplomatic missions after last week’s floods caused irreparable damage to their passports and essential documents.

Expatriates across nationalities are reporting loss and damage of passports, attested educational documents, birth and marriage certificates, and trade licenses after floods wreaked havoc in the Northern Emirates.

Fujairah resident Ali Chekidappuram said passports of his entire family were damaged while they were trying to escape the gushing water.

Fujairah resident Ali Chekidappuram
Fujairah resident Ali Chekidappuram

“We lost five passports in total - my wife’s, my two kids, my grandchild’s, and mine,” he said. “My older daughter and her baby came on a visit from India, and they need to return next month. I am very concerned if we can get a new passport before that,” said Chekidappuram.

When the water level increased in their house, they could only take their passports before fleeing to safety. “Even though we tried to keep the documents safe, water was everywhere, and we couldn’t do anything. I just hope the consulate officials will help us. We have already suffered huge losses in furniture and belongings,” he said.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Some individuals who have lost their documents have expressed grave concerns over the amounts they would need to cough up to replace the lost or damaged passport. The cost for replacing a lost or damaged Indian passport is approximately Dh570, whereas, for the Filipino passport, it is approximately between Dh360 and 600, depending on the type of passport.

Pakistan nationals will have to pay Dh250 for a ten-year passport lost or damaged for the first time.

Photo: Shihab
Photo: Shihab

One company in Fujairah has lost the passports of almost 80 employees belonging to different nationalities. “A company holding the passports of its employees for documentation purposes has lost 80 of these valuable documents,” Hashim, a social worker, told Khaleej Times.

“It will cost them a fortune to replace the documents. We are hoping the Consulates can give them a breather and reduce the cost of re-issuing these passports as this is a natural calamity,” stated Hashim.

According to Dr Puthoor Hameed, president of Fujairah Indian Association, more than 100 Indians have lost everything, including their passports and other personal documents.

Photo: Shihab
Photo: Shihab

“A few days ago, we had a meeting with the Consul General of India, Dr Aman Puri, and he has assured us that the Consulate will do all it can to fix the problems faced by the Indian community in Fujairah. Ramkumar Thankaraj, consul, passports at the mission, was also in attendance at the meeting,” added Dr Hameed.

Representatives at the Indian Consulate are expected to meet with those who have lost their documents over the weekend. “We have already submitted a list of all those affected,” he added.

“Once the officials meet with everyone, we are hoping they can start putting in place a streamlined process for everyone to follow,” stated Dr Hameed.

Photo: Shihab
Photo: Shihab

Following requests from social groups, the Indian, Pakistani, and Philippines diplomatic missions in Dubai have extended their support to assist individuals who have lost their documents in the floods.

The Pakistan consul general has also confirmed that the mission will extend its help to its nationals who need assistance. Hassan Afzal Khan, consul-general at Pakistan Consulate, Dubai, said not many people have contacted the mission about losing their passports and documents in floods.

Photo: Shihab
Photo: Shihab

“We are facilitating whoever is approaching the Consulate for help in issuing the passports and ID cards. People can apply for renewal and issuance of their passports and Nadra cards through online services,” Khan said.

The consul-general added if a request is made and a need arises to send a team to the flood-hit northern emirates, the missions will dispatch personnel to the site to help the affected Pakistanis. Five Pakistani nationals lost their lives in the latest floods that hit the northern and eastern emirates of the UAE.

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Tadu Mamu, consul - press, information, culture and labour, at the Consulate General of India in Dubai, said, “We have met with Indian community representatives in Fujairah to assess the situation and ascertain the needs of all residents whose documents were destroyed in the floods. We are looking into the matter and will resolve all issues faced by Indian expatriates shortly.”

Philippines Consul General Renato N. Dueñas, Jr, said, “The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai is currently coordinating with the Filipino community in Fujairah to ascertain the needs of Filipino nationals affected by the flood.”

The Consulate stands ready to provide necessary assistance to the affected individuals. They may call or message us on our Assistance-to-Nationals hotline numbers +971 56 501 5755 and +971 56 501 5756 to inform us of the other emergency assistance they need.

“For those whose passport was damaged, they may come to the Consulate without an appointment and at their convenience,” he added.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com


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