Heavy rains lash UAE as death toll in Oman flooding rises to 18

16 April 2024, 11:24

Arabian Peninsula Rain
Arabian Peninsula Rain. Picture: PA

Lightning flashed across the sky, occasionally touching the tip of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Heavy rains lashed the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, flooding portions of major roads and leaving vehicles abandoned across Dubai.

Meanwhile, the death toll in separate heavy flooding in neighbouring Oman rose to 18 with others still missing as the sultanate prepared for the storm.

The rains began overnight, leaving water on streets as winds disrupted flights at Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest for international travel and the home of the long-haul carrier Emirates.

Lightning flashed across the sky, occasionally touching the tip of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Schools across the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms, largely shut ahead of the storm and government employees were mostly working remotely.

Dubai Stock UAE
The skyline of Dubai, including Al Hikma Tower and the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, in the United Arab Emirates (Yui Mok/PA)

Authorities sent tanker trucks out into the streets to pump away the water.

Rain is unusual in the UAE, but occurs periodically during the cooler winter months. Many roads and other areas lack drainage given the lack of regular rainfall, causing flooding.

Initial estimates suggested over 30mm of rain fell over the morning in Dubai, with as much as 128mm (five inches) of rain expected throughout the day.

Rain also fell in Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

In neighbouring Oman at least 18 people had been killed in heavy rains in recent days, according to a statement on Tuesday from the country’s National Committee for Emergency Management.

That includes some 10 schoolchildren swept away in a vehicle with an adult.

By Press Association

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