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Photos: Dubai reels from flood chaos as record rains lash UAE

In News, World
April 17, 2024

A torrential downpour has left Dubai’s highways clogged by floodwaters and passengers were urged to stay away from the airport as the glitzy financial centre reeled from record rains.

The United Arab Emirates witnessed unprecedented rainfall with 254mm (10 inches) falling in Al Ain on Tuesday in less than 24 hours, according to the National Centre of Meteorology. That was the most since records began in 1949, before the country was established in 1971.

Although the heavy rains had eased by late Tuesday, disruptions were continuing on Wednesday with Dubai’s flagship Emirates airlines suspending check-in for passengers departing Dubai airport until midnight.

Dubai International Airport, one of the world’s busiest, said it was facing significant disruptions after the rains delayed or diverted flights.

“Flights continue to be delayed and diverted … We are working hard to recover operations as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions,” an airport spokesperson said.

Staff and passengers struggled to arrive and leave the airport, with access roads flooded and some metro services suspended.

Huge tailbacks snaked along six-lane expressways. A 70-year-old man died after he was swept away in his car in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the country’s seven emirates, police said.

The storms hit the UAE and Bahrain overnight Monday and on Tuesday after lashing Oman, where 18 people were killed, including several children.

Climatologist Friederike Otto, a specialist in assessing the role of climate change on extreme weather events, said it was “highly likely” that global warming had worsened the storms.

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