UAE authorities brief residents after rain, floods wreak havoc

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The UAE’s disaster management authority is coordinating with more than 20 hotels to provide 827 units that can house more than 1,885 people who were displaced by flooding.

The announcement was made by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) in a media briefing following slightly more than a day of heavy rains that submerged streets and flooded residences.

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NCEMA, citing the Ministry of Interior, said that 870 individuals were rescued in Sharjah and Fujairah and that 3,897 have in total been sheltered.

No casualties or serious injuries were recorded, according to the NCEMA report, who said that losses were material only.

The Ministry of Community Development, meanwhile, are providing 56 buses dedicated to transporting people out of problem areas and ensure smooth mobility in times of need.

At least 130 volunteers are working with senior citizens in high-risk zones, transporting affected individuals from flooded neighborhoods, and managing immediate shelter requirements.

All local and national-level authorities are also monitoring the weather changes and apparently taking preventative measures to avoid adverse impacts in neighborhoods across the UAE.

The teams are also coordinating with tankers to clear water-logged streets, adding that the authorities are working in “full swing to provide maximum protection for all residents in areas affected by the weather.”

Any further developments, warnings and weather changes will be monitored round the clock by a vast country-wide radar network and satellite coverage, headed by the National Centre of Meteorology.

The atmospheric depression that caused the rainfall will reportedly continue west and gradually weaken through the evening and into the night. Some rain clouds are expected by NCM in the eastern and western parts of the UAE.

The NCM reportedly issue 20 warnings and 70 social media alerts as the situation unfolded. These were also communicated to the relevant national authorities, according to the claims made at the briefing.

The authority also called on UAE residents to remain vigilant and stay away from valleys, dams and mountains that continue to display heavy flow of water.

It also asked UAE residents to rely on official sources for information regarding the weather and warning, and to not circulate rumors.

Following the rains on Wednesday, private sector and federal employees in parts of the UAE that were affected by severe weather were urged to work from home on Thursday and Friday as floods and heavy rain hit several emirates including Fujairah, Sharjah, and Ras al-Khaimah.

UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid directed hotels to open vacant rooms to families that had been displaced by the flooding, the Emirates News Agency WAM reported.

Images shared on social media showed cars on a highway brought to a standstill by floodwater that reached up to their windows.

Others depicted people being evacuated from their homes, assisted by the emergency services.

Read more: UAE urges some employees to work remotely as floods, heavy rain hit northern emirates

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