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regular-article-logo Saturday, 22 June 2024

Flooded United Arab Emirates counts cost of rainstorm, residents jeopardised by downfall

Dubai International Airport, a major travel hub, struggled to clear a backlog of flights and many roads were still flooded in the aftermath of Tuesday’s deluge

Reuters Dubai Published 19.04.24, 05:39 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image

Emergency workers tried to clear waterlogged roads and people assessed the damage to homes and businesses on Thursday after a rare and epic rainstorm swamped the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai International Airport, a major travel hub, struggled to clear a backlog of flights and many roads were still flooded in the aftermath of Tuesday’s deluge.

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The rains were the heaviest experienced by the Gulf state in the 75 years that records have been kept. They brought much of the country to a standstill and caused significant damage.

Flooding trapped residents in traffic, offices and homes. Many reported leaks at their homes, while footage circulated on social media showed malls overrun with water pouring from roofs. Traffic remained heavily disrupted.

A highway through Dubai was reduced to a single lane in one direction, bringing traffic to a standstill, while the main road that connects Dubai with Abu Dhabi was closed in the Abu Dhabi direction.

In Dubai, some vehicles, including buses, were almost entirely submerged in water. Long queues formed at petrol stations.

Emergency workers used a fire truck to pump water from a road flooded in nearly waist-deep water as drivers tried to pass, navigating around abandoned vehicles.

Operations at Dubai Airport remain disrupted after the storm flooded the runway, resulting in flight diversions, delays and cancellations.

The airport said on Thursday it had resumed receiving inbound flights at Terminal 1, used by foreign carriers, but that flights continue to be delayed and disrupted.

It later said check-in was open at Terminal 3 for Emirates and flydubai flights, but warned there was a large number of people waiting to check in and said travellers should only arrive at the terminal if they have departure confirmation from their airline.

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