People evacuated from flooded houses in Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah

 

People evacuated from flooded houses in Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah

The rains caused water levels to rise in residential areas causing damage to private and residential properties as well as cars and other properties.

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Published: Tue 18 Mar 2014, 1:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:48 PM

The heavy rains and hailstorm that lashed the UAE on Friday and Saturday, flooded houses and damaged property in Fujairah and some residents had to be evacuated. Some valleys in Khorfakkan and Ras Al Khaimah were also flooded.

A senior official said the RAK Civil Defence rescued a 24-year-old Emirati, whose car was flooded with water on a road at the Ereibi area of Ras city.

The rains caused water levels to rise in residential areas causing damage to private and residential properties as well as cars and other properties.

Lt-General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, deployed the Emirates Search and Rescue Team (UAESRT) in Fujairah to help and support the Directorate General of Civil Defence in the emirate and in the east coast.

Rainfall, unstable weather ahead

The unstable weather is expected to continue in the UAE, with chances of rainfall in some areas. Cloud cover is expected to increase over certain areas, especially over the coasts and the northern areas, the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) said on Sunday.

Weather forecast for Monday will be cloudy to partly cloudy with a chance of light rainfall towards the north and east in the morning. Winds will be moderate to fresh, causing blowing dust/haze over the open areas, reducing the horizontal visibility.

Northwesterly winds will decrease gradually by evening along with another fall in day temperatures. The relative humidity is likely to increase during the night and early morning over the interiors with a chance of fog formation, especially westwards.

Moderate to fresh winds are expected on Tuesday in general, with a strong cloud activity and low visibility caused by blowing dust and sand. The sea is expected to be rough to very rough.

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A team of 110 people, 15 vehicles, a mobile command centre and 15 tonnes of tools and equipment specialised in search and rescue operations were mobilised, said Lt-Colonel Mohammed Abdul Jalil Al Ansari, Head of the UAESRT.

Major-General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, Director-General of Central Operations at the Abu Dhabi Police GHQ, said: “As per instructions we received, the team will be staying in Fujairah until the weather is better.”

According to local residents in RAK, most of the valleys — particularly Wadi Beih to the east of the RAK city and Wadi Naqb to the south east — were flooded. Saeed Al Khasuni, an Emirati at Shaam area, said the other flooded valleys included Koob, Al Aim, Al Gheil, Al Fara, Azan and Al Asal to the south east of the RAK city, along with Wadi Haqeel. Waterfalls were seen at some cliffs.

Mohammed Salem, an Emirati, said heavy rains flooded and destroyed many houses in different areas of the emirate, particularly in the valleys of Shaml, Haqeel, Koob and Shaam. “Some roads were so flooded with water that it hampered traffic flow and blocked some roads to the valleys.”

The torrential rains also flooded and cracked most of the houses there, cut water and electricity supplies, and destroyed the furniture and properties of the people, said Abu Ismael, an Emirati.

According to the RAK Public Works and Services Department, vehicles were stuck on the Jais mountain road, which is under construction. Ahmed Al Hammadi, Director-General of the department, said they received 50 reports about rain affected houses and roads so far. “All the teams and equipment are geared up to deal with the heavy rains and flooded houses, roads and valleys.”

As many as 25 to 30 tankers, along with 15 water sucking machines are draining accumulated water on the main roads of the emirate, he added. “These are in addition to many other private tankers participating in draining accumulated water.”

Residents warned

The RAK Police has warned seafarers, beach goers and motorists about unstable weather, as per a report issued by the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS).

The RAK Traffic and Patrols department of the RAK Police has deployed several traffic patrols on all the internal roads and highways of the emirate. They have further blocked all the roads and streets leading to the valleys mostly hit by the rains, such as Shaam, Ghalila and Al Beih valleys.

Col Ahmed Al Bagham, Director of the RAK Central Operations Room, said they received 2,093 reports in the last three days, including 247 traffic complaints, and many others related to rains. “However, 1,114 of the reports were false. The public are urged to be more cautious when calling the police so as not to waste police efforts, particularly these days when other people are in a dire need of help.”

Motorists are also advised to strictly comply with traffic rules for all road users’ safety, keep all the car windows, lights, and wipers clean, and abide by lane discipline, he added. “The traffic accidents usually registered in hazy and nippy weather are very serious due to low visibility and reckless driving.”

Fujairah

Shaikh Saif has instructed rescue teams to help and support the Civil Defence Department in Fujairah as well as all areas on the eastern coast which were heavily flooded due to the rains.

The rains flooded houses and evacuation operations were conducted.

The Security Media Department at the office of the Secretariat General of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior has urged the public to avoid flooded roads and valleys, particularly on the eastern and southern areas for their safety. “Campers, beach and valleys goers need to avoid using radio and cell phones in open areas as they are liable to electric shocks caused by lightning. They should also keep children away from the swamps, low-level areas and bottom of the valleys.”

Khorfakkan

Emiratis and residents here have urged the bodies concerned to adopt comprehensive solutions to the flood and destruction of property caused by torrential rains. “We have a critical problem with the city infrastructure because it didn’t really rain that much,” said Abu Eissa, an Emirati at Mdeifi area.

Abu Nawaf, another Emirati, said regular maintenance should be conducted here to put an end to the problem. “All our houses, furniture and vehicles are flooded with water.”

Ahmed Ali, an Emirati, said they lack a proper sewage network. “The water sucking machines do not work well, and need to be maintained, particularly during the rain season.”

ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com

Emergency numbers

Residents of heavily flooded areas in RAK are urged to be careful and immediately call 072356611 / 072356600 / 072356998 / 072356999 in case of emergency.


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