x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Blackouts drive people into cars

Power cuts are driving people out of their homes to take refuge from heat and humidity in the air-conditioned comfort of their cars.

The blackouts are most frequent in the Al Mamourah, Shamal, Khuzzam, Julfar, Kharran and Al Dhait districts.
The blackouts are most frequent in the Al Mamourah, Shamal, Khuzzam, Julfar, Kharran and Al Dhait districts.

RAS AL KHAIMAH // Repeated power cuts are driving people out of their homes to take refuge from the midday heat and humidity in the air-conditioned comfort of their cars. Ras al Khaimah has been hit by power cuts almost every day since last week. A municipality official said the problem originated with the main electricity generator that supplied the northern Emirates. He said the municipality was working with the responsible authorities to rectify the problem and the situation would soon return to normal.

Residents are finding it impossible to stay indoors in the middle of the day and many families are living in their cars with the engine running and the air-conditioning switched on. "I have a four-month-old daughter, so whenever the power goes off she is restless and my wife calls me from work to come and put them in a car," said Hussein al Tunaiji. Shopping centres in Ras al Khaimah are closed during the midday hours, so Mr Tunaiji is unable to take his family to malls, which would allow him to return to work.

The blackouts are most frequent in the Al Mamourah, Shamal, Khuzzam, Julfar, Kharran and Al Dhait districts. Salim Abdullah al Shamil, who has to relocate an elderly relative when the power is cut, said the authorities should help senior citizens and the sick, who were unable to move out of their homes easily and were more likely to be affected by the heat. Fahad al Naqbi, a resident of Julfar, said his house felt like a furnace when the electricity went off for five hours on Monday.

He said he had to take his family to Falcon garden to get relief from the heat. Another family said their daughter, aged one, had to be taken to hospital after a long period in a hot room. Fahad, a resident of Shamal area, said the power was off for four hours on Wednesday afternoon, and he had to take his wife and two children to a shopping mall in a neighbouring village to escape the heat. "The children had started crying because there was too much heat in the house and we had no alternatives since the air conditioners could not operate as there was no power.

"We decided to enter a shopping mall with the children on the pretext of doing some shopping as we could not afford staying in the house with the children," Fahad said. Mohammed Hassan, another resident, said he had been forced to take his family to a friend's home in Nakheel when the power went off in Julfar, where he lives. @Email:ykakande@thenational.ae