UAE: Volunteers, Good Samaritans step up to rescue residents from flash flood

They also helped them clean their flooded houses

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By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Fri 12 Aug 2022, 9:05 AM

Last updated: Fri 12 Aug 2022, 10:15 PM

On July 27, heavy rains battered the nation, flooding houses and leaving residents stranded.

On that fateful evening in Kalba, a group of men sprang into action to help all those stranded.

“It started raining heavily at 8pm. We thought that it was regular rain that falls once a year. However, it was raining continuously and water started entering homes. We knew it wouldn’t stop,” said Abdul Samad, a social worker, and resident of Kalba.

These Good Samaritans also helped residents clean up their homes after water flooded most houses in the area.

By the time it was midnight, he added that they understood that they had to move to some other place for their safety.

When the residents left their houses to move to a safer place, it was difficult for them to walk on the streets as it was flooded. “We had to encourage them to come out and take them to a place at a higher level,” said Abdul Samad.

The resident soon found rescue teams from different government entities. “The army and rescue personnel were on their toes, and we were also helping people reach the army vans,” said Abdul Samad.

Social workers said their families were shifted to Sharjah and safe other places. “We remained there helping people around and did not sleep the whole night,” said Abdul Samad.

Many residents who resided on higher floors stayed back. Volunteers ensured breakfast, lunch, and dinner were provided on time. “We got food from restaurants unaffected by floods and distributed it among the residents. People were even stuck at labour camps, and we had to deliver food to them as well with the support of the authorities,” Muralidharan, another social worker said.

The situation continued for a few days, and they were out on the streets helping whomever they met.

The worst was yet to come for the residents of Kalba. “Water subsided after two days, but our houses were in shambles,” said Muralidharan.

Many of them reached their homes only to find everything wrecked. “Residents were disheartened to find their houses damaged and most of the furniture and electronics destroyed,” said Muralidharan.

Social workers left no stone unturned and tried their best to restore normalcy in the area.

“We started it, but we wanted to end until we reach normalcy,” exclaimed Muralidharan.

Social workers are now on a mission to clean houses and distribute food until returning to normalcy.

“We made a two-member team and started helping to clean houses that were damaged during flash floods. Many of them are yet to be cleaned, we will do it soon,” said Abdul Samad.

Surprisingly, most of these social workers have not cleaned their own houses yet.

“I will clean my house soon. My wife keeps complaining that you have cleaned many houses except ours,” revealed Muralidharan.

Help from the private sector

Social workers say that they received immense help from Aster DM Healthcare.

Some doctors were deputed to check the physical and mental health of residents affected by the flash floods.

“The doctors from Aster hospitals were ready to help people and rescue them,” said Abdul Samad.

“They even helped us to distribute food and essentials across the town,” Muralidharan said.

Aster volunteers contributed to the relief efforts and organised a response to help those affected. Manoj Alex and his family were one of the many people from Kalba that received much-needed help from Aster volunteers.

Alex’s house was affected by the flood that evening. It was filled with mud and dirt.

He is currently unemployed, has three children to look after, and his wife is the only breadwinner in the family.

These volunteers heard his calls for help and accepted the task of cleaning up his house. As many as ten Aster volunteers came from Dubai, along with five volunteers from the Aster Clinics in Fujairah team got to work.

The volunteers worked tirelessly and removed all the debris and dirt, cleaned all the rooms, washrooms, kitchen and hall, and disinfected the house completely.


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