Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Heavy rain forces evacuation of residential block as debris sent flying

Witnesses report seeing concrete slabs fall from the building

The building in RAK city was evacuated. Courtesy: RAK Police
The building in RAK city was evacuated. Courtesy: RAK Police

A six-storey residential building in Ras Al Khaimah has been evacuated after concrete sections fell away following heavy rain.

Police were called to the scene on Sunday who instructed tenants to leave their homes after realising the extent of the damage.

Emergency response teams were also called to assist with the evacuation but no injuries were reported.

“All necessary procedures were taken immediately and the tenants were led to safety,” said Brig Abdullah Al Hadidi, deputy commander of RAK Police.

“We thank God that no injuries were recorded.”

Police asked residents to street clear of the area after heavy rain sent debris falling from buildings. Courtesy: RAK Police
Police asked residents to street clear of the area after heavy rain sent debris falling from buildings. Courtesy: RAK Police

Police told The National the tenants have been moved into hotel apartments until a building report is produced.

A worker at a barber shop near to the residential building said that he saw concrete slabs fall from one of the balconies.

“It is a very old building and needs maintenance,” said the Pakistani man, who preferred not to give his name.

“Some pieces of concrete fell from the building and the police came to take it away,” he said.

An employee of a construction material shop said the building is more than 25 years old.

“The whole area is old and many buildings need maintenance,” said Saad Ishaq, 29, from Pakistan.

“Police told the families to come out and some workers came and built a cover in front of the building entrance to protect the residents when entering and exiting the building.”

The building was cordoned off by police after debris was seen falling. Courtesy: RAK Police
The building was cordoned off by police after debris was seen falling. Courtesy: RAK Police

Heavy rain and strong winds lashed parts of the country on Sunday, with forecasters predicting bad weather to come over the next few days.

In some areas, clouds of sand and dust reduced visibility to less than two kilometres, causing difficult driving conditions.

Brig Al Hadidi said inspection crews had also been instructed to carry out checks for similar damage on nearby properties.

“We are currently co-ordinating with authorities to evaluate the condition of this building and to confirm whether it is safe for its tenants,” he said.

Updated: March 18, 2019 11:52 AM

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