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Dubai’s Recovery Efforts Following Record-Breaking Torrential Rain

by Rahil M
0 comment

On Tuesday, Dubai experienced an extraordinary deluge, with up to 295.5mm (10.2in) of rain recorded, making it the highest rainfall since records began 75 years ago.

Dubai, the mirage in the desert, is currently dealing with the aftermath of unprecedented torrential rains that have flooded the city. The residents tell harrowing tales of spending the night stranded in their cars and airports witnessing chaotic scenes. The images of the city seem unreal, with luxury cars floating down the roads and a plane rolling off of a runway.

On Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates experienced an extraordinary deluge, with up to 295.5mm (10.2in) of rain recorded, making it the highest rainfall since records began 75 years ago. WAM, the state-run agency, described Tuesday’s downpour as a “historic weather event,” surpassing any previously documented rainfall since data collection began in 1949.

On Wednesday, as the city received some much-needed sun, stories of the residents enduring agonizing nights trapped in their vehicles and workplaces emerged.

One of the Dubai residents in his 30s, who wished to remain anonymous, recounted his 15-minute commute turning into a 12-hour ordeal on flooded roads, describing it as “one of the most horrific situations I had ever experienced.”

At Dubai’s airport, one of the world’s busiest airports for international travel, almost every flight faced repeated delays, prompting Emirates to advise passengers to stay away “unless absolutely necessary.”

Frustration began among passengers already at the airport, with reports of long queues forming at connection desks, accompanied by clapping and whistling in protest as travellers waited for information.

A passenger described the scene as “complete chaos”, expressing his dismay at the lack of communication and organization after his 12-hour wait.

Meanwhile, standing water on taxiways greeted arriving aircraft, with passengers describing scenes of “absolute carnage” and shortages of essential supplies like water.

Flights being diverted to Dubai World Central Airport (also known as Al Maktoum airport) added to the chaos, with stranded passengers resorting to living on duty-free supplies.

A British traveller expressed his frustration at the lack of updates and basic amenities after his flight’s diversion, and called the situation “an absolute disaster.”

Dubai’s flagship airline, Emirates, issued statements acknowledging the delays and disruptions, ultimately cancelling all check-ins and suspending services until Thursday morning, while apologizing for the inconvenience caused.

The complications, however, continued well into Thursday, with the Dubai airport resuming flights from Terminal 1 but urging the travellers to arrive only with confirmed bookings due to ongoing delays and disruptions.

The CEO of Dubai airport, Paul Griffiths, acknowledged the unprecedented flooding, and described it as an “incredibly challenging time.”

School closures were extended in Dubai, further highlighting the magnitude of the clean-up efforts.

In an unusual intervention, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Nayan ordered the authorities to assess infrastructure conditions across the country and expedite damage control measures.

Shiekh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, appreciated the tireless efforts of citizens and residents involved in relief operations, underscoring the city’s resilience in the face of adversity.

Similar scenes followed in neighbouring Sharjah, with residents navigating flooded streets and makeshift boats.

Unfortunately, the flood claimed at least one life, with a 70-year-old man swept away in Ras Al-Khaimah.

The UAE government also announced an extension of remote working for most federal government employees, recognizing the continued impact of the severe weather conditions.

The reason for the downpour is being hailed as cloud seeding, which is a weather modification strategy that is decades old. In this process, binding agents are added to the atmosphere to get more precipitation to fall. The process can be done with planes, generators, or from the ground.

However, scientists believe that this isn’t the reason behind the storm. The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) issued a statement to multiple news outlets, that there were no cloud-seeding operations before or during the storm.

The current opinion is that the storm was caused due to climate change which affected the normal weather system. The rising global temperatures, due to human climate change, is the reason behind very extreme weather events around the world.

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