Flash flood alert after downpour
Principals authorised to suspend classes based on situation
Rough weather struck huge swathes of the UAE yesterday, with heavy rains causing flash floods in wadis and sending residents in cities running for cover.
Strong winds also swept up rough seas and weather officials sent out alerts urging residents to take caution in affected areas. The National Centre for Meteorology sent out a flash flood warning which will remain in effect till 11.30am today. Meanwhile, the Ministry
of Education, on its Twitter page, said that principals are authorised to decide whether to suspend classes today depending on the condition of roads leading to schools.
Residents were caught off-guard as thunderstorms struck huge swathes of the UAE yesterday, causing dangerous flash floods in wadis, inundating city roads and sending pedestrians scrambling for cover.
Officials in various govern-ment departments issued weather warnings, telling people to keep away from the flooded areas, avoid rough seas and drive safely.
Heavy thunderstorms and hail were reported in Ras Al Khaimah, with residents quick to take to the social media to post pictures.
Ras Al Khaimah resident Mohammad Sayyan said it had been raining since he left home for work at 7am yesterday.
“It has been pouring almost the whole day, it only slowed down for a short while. Around 2.30pm we saw a very heavy downpour. The sky was totally covered by clouds, with thunder roaring,” said Sayyan, from India.
“Some roads were flooded, reducing traffic to a crawl. It’s been a stormy day.”
Dubai resident Shakeeb Ahmad said his day out with family at the Global Village was cut short by the downpour.
“The Global Village is an open area, so when the rains picked up strength, we had to take shelter in the vendors’ stalls instead of shopping from them. It was the last day of the Global Village and our trip there came to an abrupt, surprising end because of the turn in weather,” said Ahmad.
Meanwhile, authorities issued a flash flood warning alert from 9.30am yesterday till 11.30am today. Heavy rain
was reported in Wadi Shahah in Ras Al Khaimah, Al Adlah in Abu Dhabi, Al Dhaid in Sharjah and Falaj Al Mualla in Umm Al Quwain.
Moderate rain was also reported at Al Wathbah in Abu Dhabi and Hatta in Dubai.
Stormy weather conditions have affected the UAE since April 9, according to the National Centre for Meteorology (NCM). A spokesperson for the centre told Gulf News: “The conditions have intensified today [April 13], resulting in rainfall in most areas of the country.”
The public has been urged to stay away from places affected by flooding, especially in the wadi areas. The highest rainfall recorded until 4pm yesterday was 87.1mm. Some residents of Al Digdaga area in Ras Al Khaimah have reported seeing hail.
According to NCM, cloudy conditions and rainfall are expected to continue until today.
The UAE has been experiencing stormy weather since April 9.
Lightning lights up the night sky in Sharjah late last evening as rains struck most of the UAE.
People caught in the rain in Sharjah yesterday.
A pedestrian tries to beat the rain in Dubai.