Tuesday, May 21

Heavy Rains and Flash Floods Cause Devastation in Gulf States

Heavy rain has caused flash floods in Gulf states, claiming the lives of at least 20 people and disrupting flights at Dubai Airport, the world’s second-busiest airport. The downpour has led to challenging conditions across the region, with roads submerged and significant disruptions to daily life.

In Dubai, the airport advised passengers not to travel as runways were flooded, leading to the cancellation and diversion of flights. Further north, in Oman, the body of a young girl was found in Saham, bringing the death toll in the country to 19 since Sunday.

The United Arab Emirates experienced its largest rainfall event in 75 years, with some areas receiving 254.8mm of rain in less than 24 hours. This is significantly higher than the country’s average annual rainfall of 140-200mm. The intense storm caused widespread flooding, including on Sheikh Zayed Road, a major highway in Dubai.

British tourist Caroline Seubert, who was stranded at Dubai Mall, described the situation as chaotic, with ceilings collapsing and the mall closing early. She and her husband were forced to sleep in the mall lobby overnight due to the lack of transport options.

In response to the crisis, authorities in the UAE and Oman have warned of more thunderstorms, heavy rain, and strong winds in the coming days. Efforts are underway to provide aid to those affected by the floods, with hundreds of people evacuated to shelters in Oman.

The heavy rain and flooding in the Gulf states highlight the growing impact of climate change, with extreme weather events becoming more frequent and severe. Governments and communities are being urged to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change and prevent further devastation.