UAE floods: Volunteers distribute food kits, to organise clean-up drives in worst-affected localities in Fujairah

Many homes are inundated with water and sludge, says welfare group president

By Dhanusha Gokulan, Nandini Sircar

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KT photo/Shihab
KT photo/Shihab

Published: Fri 29 Jul 2022, 9:27 PM

Last updated: Fri 29 Jul 2022, 10:37 PM

Expatriate community groups and volunteers are distributing food kits to families in some of the worst-hit localities in Fujairah.

Following this, the groups plan clean-up drives to clear accumulated sludge and mud from private properties so families can return to their homes.

Organisations such as the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) and the Kairali Cultural Association are distributing food packages and planning the clean-up drive from homes in the Faseel and Sikamkam localities in Fujairah.

A total of seven people were confirmed dead Friday after heavy rains caused massive flooding across the Northern and Eastern Emirates of the country.

Government officials said Friday at least 870 people were rescued after flash floods hit UAE’s Northern Emirates. A total of 3,897 individuals were placed in temporary shelters in Fujairah and Sharjah.

Dr Puthur Rahman, president of Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), a not-for-profit community welfare group, said they are arranging cooked food for stranded families. “Many villas in the Faseel and Sikamkam are inundated with water and soil. Once most of the rescue operations are complete, our teams will travel there to remove the sludge so families can move back into their homes. We have about 20 volunteers actively working in these areas.”

Siraj VM, Fujairah Indian Social Club council secretary, said, “We can only send food into areas where there are no restrictions. Whenever we’ve received calls for cooked food, we’ve collected them from restaurants in the city and got them to residents in need.”

He added, “The priority now is cleaning the homes before the mud hardening. After that, it would be very challenging.” Siraj also said the groups faced transportation challenges as many of their vehicles were totalled in the floods. “Only heavy vehicles can travel through the deluge. There has been an immense loss of property. We are also planning on supporting families with no full insurance option on their vehicles. Individuals with third-party vehicle insurance will suffer unless they are not helped.”

Meanwhile, Mohammad Nabeel, president of Kairali Cultural Association, Kalba, said, “We were able to rescue three people. One man was stuck in his car. When I received a call seeking help from stranded people, my friend and I left immediately. Upon reaching the site, we saw a man’s car parked beside him, and he was waiting outside restlessly as the road ahead was completely submerged. There was water as far as one could see. No vehicle could pass through that stretch.”

He added, “We also rescued two nurses. The women were returning from duty, and they realized the water ahead was chest-deep as the incessant rain in Fujairah had led to severe flooding. My friend and I waded through the water with great difficulty and helped the women cross the vast stretches of water. We were stuck there for nearly 24 hours. The downpour finally stopped yesterday, and today the sky looks clearer.”

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