x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Second storm in two weeks slams Al Ain

Buildings are damaged, trees are uprooted and roundabouts are flooded during violent storm.

A Lulu hypermarket in Al Ain was damaged.
A Lulu hypermarket in Al Ain was damaged.

Trees were uprooted and buildings damaged yesterday in the second storm to hit Al Ain in as many weeks.

"Many of the roundabouts are flooded, some up to the curb, and trees have blocked several lanes," said Andrew Thompson, a city resident.

A forecaster at Abu Dhabi's National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology said the storm started at 2pm yesterday in Al Hayer, the northern region of the city.

"The rainfall was medium to very strong, and was caused by convective clouds which are associated with thunder activity," he said.

He said strong winds, the result of high temperatures and variations in atmospheric pressure, also caused dust and sandstorms.

Although Al Ain Municipality was fully prepared for the eventuality of another storm, there was a lot of damage, said Saeed Al Kaabi, the head of the emergency department.

"There were trees blocking the streets and broken signs; not just buildings damaged," he said.

Part of the roof of a Lulu hypermarket was sheared off by wind.

Mr Al Kaabi said the municipality began clearing debris immediately and everything would be cleared by this morning.

"The emergency units have been working since the storm started to open the roads everywhere and remove debris from the streets," he said.

zalhassani@thenational.ae