UAE floods: Fujairah residents take baby steps to recover after rains displace them, damage property

Families are still cleaning up the sludge left behind by heavy rains that hit the Emirates last week



Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Wed 3 Aug 2022, 10:35 PM

Last updated: Thu 4 Aug 2022, 1:52 PM

After record-breaking rains lashed several parts of the UAE last week and floods wreaked havoc in the day-to-day lives of people in Fujairah, residents are now taking baby steps to recover and return to normalcy.

Hundreds were stranded as water levels increased, and residents residing in villas were moved to the safety of hotels and serviced apartments on the night (July 27) it started pouring. The following day, the only thing they could see was water everywhere, and there was no option to go to their homes.

As the water level went down, many eager residents checked on their properties, only to find water up to the waist. One such resident was Indian expat Najeem Abubacker, who resides in the Al Faseel neighbourhood near the corniche in Fujairah.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

“When it was pouring down heavily on the night of July 27th, my family managed to get refuge in one of the hotels,” said Abubacker. Much worried, the family was eager to find out the condition of the house, “But it was all wrecked.”

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

For the last five days, Abubacker, along with his two sons, wife, friends, and few helpers, have been trying to clean his house daily. “Cleaning our house after the flood has been our daily business. We spend our nights at the hotel, and we are here cleaning up the house during the day,” said Abubacker.

He added, “The cupboards, mattresses, sofas, furnitures, electronics goods etc. were damaged.”

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

It is not only Abubacker’s house that has been hit by the flood. Many houses have faced similar damage. “All my neighbours are regularly cleaning their houses and staying elsewhere,” said Abubacker.

The family has developed a strong emotional attachment with the villa as they have been living there for the past two decades. "We moved in here in 2002. This is where I spent my childhood, and I grew up here. We are all emotionally attached with the house," said Sharooq, Abubacker's younger son.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

The family says that they will take another four days to clean the entire villa and till then stay at the hotel. Abubacker had to cancel his plan to travel to Kerala at the end of July. "I have to postpone my trip as I have to clean-up my home here,” he said.

But people residing in apartments and high-rise towers are relieved as life is back to normal indoors. Nihal Salim, a resident in a high-rise tower, said, “We did experience havoc outside our homes.”

Nihal Salim was shocked when he saw submerged roads when he woke up in the morning on July 28th. “The roads were completely submerged, and I did not know what to do." He was frightened as he was residing alone in his apartment as his family was on vacation, and the entire city was inundated.

Nihal, operations Manager at Medlene Dental, Fujairah, said that the lifts were not working on the first day and were restored gradually. “I was relieved that things were gradually getting back to normal the next afternoon. And the authorities are leaving no stone unturned to bring back to normalcy,” added Nihal.

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Help has been pouring in from every quarter — with volunteers driving across the emirates to assist, and even UAE royals were seen stepping up to help.

Officers from multiple authorities and civilian volunteers in Fujairah have been working around the clock to restore normalcy as the emirate was the most impacted after heavy rains flooded roads with over two feet of water.

ayaz@khaleejtimes.com


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