x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Stormy weather to last through week

The weather over the weekend contributed to the road deaths of two Emiratis, damaged cars and ripped off a roof.

This photo taken from the 61st floor of the Sun Tower on Reem Island shows the roof blown off part of a labourers´ camp.
This photo taken from the 61st floor of the Sun Tower on Reem Island shows the roof blown off part of a labourers´ camp.

The weekend's blustery weather contributed to the deadly crash of a speeding car in Umm Al Quwain, damaged vehicles near a construction site in Dubai Marina and ripped the roof off a labourer accommodation on Reem Island in the capital.

The forecast is for more of the same until Thursday.

The weekend winds that reached 70 kilometres per hour in parts of the country were strong enough to tear the roof off a temporary building used by Arabian Construction Company on Reem Island.

Anita Calcraft of Abu Dhabi was among those who noticed the destruction yesterday morning.

"I looked at the windows because they were dirty from the rain. Then I saw that the roof had come off in one of the buildings below," she said. "It was turned back. I think it blew off."

Mrs Calcraft said labourers' belongings were strewn all around. Six rooms appeared to be affected, she said. The accommodation houses thousands of workers.

On Defence Road in Abu Dhabi, the wind hurled a large trampoline from the roof of an apartment building above the Lebanese Flower restaurant into the alleyway below, but no one was injured.

The rough weather came in from Al Gharbia in the country's west. Wind speeds reached 70kmph on Friday evening, said an expert at the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology in Abu Dhabi.

Seas were rough, too, with waves reaching 2.4 metres.

The clouds also brought rain to much of the country. The largest amount, 20.2 millimetres, was recorded in Otaid, 200 kilometres south-west of Abu Dhabi.

"The unstable weather conditions were affecting the country since four days but on Friday they deepened a little," the meteorologist said. Five to six cars were damaged at Dubai Marina near Choithrams supermarket after the hoardings around a construction site collapsed.

"We presume that the hoardings collapsed due to the wind. Everything was calm until night, but suddenly the wind started blowing with high speed early in the morning," said Mohammed Musthafa, a resident.

Hoardings blew off at another site in the Marina. At Kite Beach, the weather station showed 40 knots of wind, considered almost as severe as gale force.

In Umm Al Quwain, two Emirati men died after losing control of their car. The crash happened on exit 110 of Emirates Road, in the direction of Sharjah.

The driver, YA, 19, died on the spot, while his passenger, 17-year-old MS, died while being taken to hospital.

Police said the two men had been speeding and road was slippery with rain. Neither had been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

The National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology predicted that the rain and wind would persist.

Today is expected to be rainy and there is even a chance of thunder.

The likelihood of rain will be strongest in the western and interior parts of the country, as well as around coastal areas.

Wind speeds are expected to reach 60 km/h. Temperatures should drop, with the maximum in coastal areas between 23°C and 28°C.

The tempestuous patch will continue until Thursday, said the meteorologist, adding that the most rain and wind is expected today and Tuesday.

* With additional reporting by Fareed Rahman, Yasin Kakande and Erin Conroy