Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 5 April 2020

Woman killed in Ras Al Khaimah as deadly floods leave trail of destruction

A rescue mission was launched after a man was swept away by floodwaters, while more than 100 families fled their damaged homes

A helicopter swoops to the rescue of an Emirati couple stranded in flood-hit Al Ain as storms continue to cause massive disruption across the country. Courtesy: National Search and Rescue Centre  
A helicopter swoops to the rescue of an Emirati couple stranded in flood-hit Al Ain as storms continue to cause massive disruption across the country. Courtesy: National Search and Rescue Centre  

A woman was crushed to death after a wall collapsed during fierce storms in Ras Al Khaimah, police said.

The African maid was believed to be working in a house in the Al Fahlain on Saturday when the wall toppled under the force of severe flash floods.

Police in the emirate also launched a search-and-rescue mission for a worker swept away in the floods in Waadi Shaam.

About 120 families in Ras Al Khaimah were forced to flee their homes as torrential rain left a trail of destruction.

Major Gen Ali Al Nuaimi, commander-in-chief of Ras Al Khaimah Police, said the stricken families had been given shelter at hotels and other accommodations.

“Police efforts are still ongoing to deal with the reports regarding damages caused by overflowing valleys across the emirate,” he said.

He urged the public to stay at home during the unstable weather conditions and avoid travelling on roads near valleys and mountains.

Khaled bin Khamsoun, a father of two boys, aged nine and six, made a dash for safety with his family when water flowed into their home in Al Fahlen on Saturday morning.

“The water started to come down from the mountains into our house at 10am,” said the 42-year-old.

“We started to gather all the clothes and rugs to place it in front of the doors and windows to prevent the water from coming into the house but the water flow was very strong and uncontrollable.

“My wife and two kids were scared at that time and I told them to stay on the bed away from the water.

“I had to leave them and go to my mother’s house to bring my mother and two sisters to stay with us until we found a way out of the area, as both of my cars were swept away by the floods."

He said that many families fled their homes on Saturday but not all managed to register with the police to get a hotel room.

Mr bin Khamsoun said that he had to wait for his brother who travelled from Abu Dhabi to relocate the family and move them to a safe place.

“When my brother arrived he immediately moved us to our sister’s house in Al Kharan as the registration to get a hotel room was closed by then,” said Mr bin Khamsoun.

“This is the first time to witness such amounts of rain in 40 years, it is unbelievable.”

“We are still at my sister’s house and we don't know when it will be safe to go back home.”

An air rescue operation was launched in Al Ain as flooding caused major disruption in the area.

A National Search and Rescue Centre helicopter was deployed in Wadi Ghashabah after two men were trapped by the high levels of water on Saturday morning.

The Sudanese men were found clinging to a tree by the rescue crew who swooped to their aid and airlifted them to safety.

The second rescue operation took place at about 3pm when the centre received a call about an Emirati man and his wife who were marooned by floods after their car got stuck in a wadi located in Al Bateen area.

The helicopter was able to land on the small island in the middle of the Wadi where they were trapped and the team managed to fly them to safety.

Updated: January 12, 2020 03:32 PM

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