UAE weather forecast: Nation braces for more rains


UAE weather forecast: Nation braces for more rains

Waterlogged areas cause traffic congestion; RTA says situation under control

By Sajila Saseendran, Lily B. Libo-on And Ahmed Shabaan

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Published: Fri 28 Mar 2014, 1:35 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 7:20 PM

No roads were closed on Wednesday despite the heavy rains in Dubai, but the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said it is coordinating with the Dubai Municipality to clear waterlogged areas, which could cause traffic congestion.

Wow, this is absolute fun! At Nuaimia in Ajman on Wednesday. — KT photo by Shoaib Anwer

According to the RTA, the situation was under control. “With its Traffic and Roads Agency, RTA is monitoring the areas, but there is no area in the city, where roads are closed or traffic is diverted due to the heavy rains.”

Clusters of Light show postponed

Afkar Abdullah

sharjah — Sharjah’s forthcoming musical spectacular “The Clusters of Light”, that was to premiere at the newly constructed Open Majaz Island Amphitheatre yesterday has been postponed due to weather condition. It will now open on Sunday, March 30.

The inaugural event of Sharjah’s tenure as the Islamic Culture Capital 2014 was to take place yesterday, along with two other shows, will now take place on March 30 and will continue on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Stating the reason behind postponing the event, the organising committee said: “The show’s visual and audio effects need stable weather condition and also we are concerned about the safety of the audiences”.

“There is a well coordinated move between RTA and the Dubai Municipality in clearing water-logged areas, and it is already in control,” it said.

Officials from the Sewage and Irrigation Department of the Dubai Municipality said the technical, supervisory and administrative teams of the department were fully engaged in rainwater management since Tuesday night.

The department assigned about 45 diesel pumps and tankers to clear the puddles formed in low-lying areas and some roads on Wednesday.

“We have been pumping out water from areas where these puddles have formed. But, people should understand that this is not just what we are doing to manage rainwater. We have a well-built storm water network connected through 60 stations across the emirate,” an official told Khaleej Times.

Run, baby run! Near World Trade Centre, Dubai. — KT photo by Leslie Pableo

He said as many as 800 employees of the Department worked on two shifts to make sure the storm water network was working at full capacity without any problem and all roads and main areas are clear of flooding.

‘Cars skid more on UAE roads’

Silvia Radan

abu dhabi — Although car tyres are standard across the world, they tend to skid more on the UAE roads, said an expert.

Saleh Al Romaithi, an experienced racer and off-road driver, said the amount of annual rainfall has an impact on the tarmac.

“In Europe, for instance, where it rains a lot, the roads surface is adapted to water, so cars don’t skid so much, but here, where it rains very little, the tarmac behaves differently.

“When there is heavy rain like yesterday, a thin layer of water is created on the road surface, which acts like ice for vehicles,” said Al Romaithi.

The speed-limit for driving in the rain should be based on road visibility, amount of rain falling and how damp the roads are, he said. In general terms, this means about 100km per hour on highways and 80km per hour on dual carriageways.

‘Severe’ weather warnings issued

Severe weather warnings have been issued at all Abu Dhabi airports and even major companies, such as Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, have sent safety and precautionary messages to all its employees — something that is done only in extreme weather conditions.

“When there is a rain forecast, we always ensure that all stations are in good condition. The amount of rainfall is well within the capacity of the network and we did not have any major flooding reported except for some puddles in low-lying areas in Rashidiya, Hor Al Anz and Al Quoz where we have deployed these tankers and pumps,” he said adding that enough preparations are in place to handle the rain expected in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the municipality’s Call Centre that operates the toll free hotline number 800900 rceived about 200 notifications related to rain till Wednesday afternoon. “There were no major incidents. Most of the callers reported water-logging in their areas and wanted us to send our workers to clear the puddles,” said the Head of the Call Centre Mohammed Ahmed Al Luz. Earlier in the day the civic body also tweeted to caution the public about driving during rains.The Global Village remained closed on Wednesday due to the rains.

Traffic jam in Sharjah

Meanwhile in Sharjah, heavy traffic jams continued due to clogged rainwater in streets and roundabouts.

Abdul Aziz Al Mansouri, Deputy Director of Sharjah Municipality, said the Emergency Committee continued its efforts to drain out water from its inundated industrial areas for over 24 hours and is working to clean and repair the affected roads. The committee made inspectional visits to the affected schools in the emirate and pumped out rain water from the flooded school grounds. He added that they used 120 diesel pumps and 60 water tanks to drain out the water from the affected areas. He added that priority was given to residential areas and main roads.

RAK residentsafraid of flooding

In Ras Al Khaimah, little to moderate rains were recorded. However, local residents said they were worried that most of the houses and internal roads would be flooded as was the case in the last rains.

Mohammed Salem, an Emirati, said many houses developed cracks during the last torrential rains. There was flooding and water and electricity supplies were cut. “The rains have destroyed our furniture and properties,” he said, calling for urgent action from the bodies concerned. The RAK police also warned seafarers, beach and valleys goers. More traffic patrols were deployed on all the internal and highways of the emirate. Residents were urged to call 072356611; 072356600; 072356998 or 072356999 in case of emergency.

Mariam bint Mohammed Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of Social Affairs has directed workers in the Social Security Administration and the offices of Social Affairs to take urgent measures to aid those affected by the current rains and to provide assistance to them.

Al Roumi said that public, private and ministry staff are working hard to provide relief for those families and individuals when needed.

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