x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Storms kill four, and more rain on way

Violent weekend thunderstorms and heavy rain left four people dead and large areas of the Northern Emirates submerged, with more rain expected to fall today.

Sharjah received 36.2 millimetres of rainfall on Saturday night. A taxi heads along the E311 in the emirate yesterday.
Sharjah received 36.2 millimetres of rainfall on Saturday night. A taxi heads along the E311 in the emirate yesterday.

Violent weekend thunderstorms and rains left four people dead and large areas of the Northern Emirates submerged, with more rain expected to fall today. In Sharjah, three people died in two separate incidents after they were electrocuted while standing in water. In Dubai, one person was killed and 13 other hurt when an entrance collapsed at the India pavilion at Global Village.

Sharjah saw the highest rainfall of all the emirates on Saturday night - 36.2 millimetres. While not an unusually large amount of rain, it fell very quickly. Roads were submerged and dozens of cars nearly disappeared under water in the industrial area. The water had not drained away yesterday, and commuters heading back to Sharjah last night faced delays of up to three hours. In Ras al Khaimah, the road to Wadi al Biah was badly damaged by storm water.

Abu Dhabi International Airport recorded 18.6mm of rain, although many areas of the capital received little or none. Water continued to block streets in Khalifa City yesterday, however, and many residents struggled to leave the area. In Dubai, an average rainfall of 16.7mm was recorded. Some areas of the city saw extensive flooding after rain in the early evening. Dubai Police reported 170 road accidents and 21 serious injuries.

The Dubai Mall reopened yesterday after its second flooding incident in a week; on Thursday, the mall's aquarium sprang a leak. In Global Village, the entertainment park that was due to close yesterday, what a representative called "extreme and unexpected weather conditions" led to the collapse of part of the entrance to the India pavilion. An Iraqi woman was fatally injured. In Sharjah, an Arab man touched a metal pole on the side of a flooded road and was electrocuted.

In another incident, two Asian men staying in the same room in the industrial area were killed after coming into contact with water charged with electricity. Police said that one man stepped into water that had flooded the room and was electrocuted. Another man stepped down to help him, only to suffer the same fate. Most emirates are expected to see heavy rain and thunderstorms today, with the bad weather expected to continue until tomorrow.

newsdesk@thenational.ae