x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE told to brace for more heavy rain

Further heavy rain is expected tomorrow, on the back of storms which left streets flooded across the emirates and one person dead.

Traffic tries to make its way through heavy flooding on the 311 in Sharjah.
Traffic tries to make its way through heavy flooding on the 311 in Sharjah.

Further heavy rain is expected tomorrow, on the back of storms which left streets flooded across the emirates and one person dead. Residents can expect another spate of heavy rain and thunderstorms just days after rough weather killed at least one woman and shut roads and schools and halted a major tennis championship final. Forecasters are predicting rains to be as bad, if not worse than Saturday night's deluge, which saw between 16 and 36 millimeters of rain fall across the Emirates. According to a forecaster at Dubai Meteorological Office, which is based in Dubai International Airport, Sharjah was the hardest hit with 36.2 millimeters. The rain, which was caused by a trough of low air pressure from Saudi Arabia, was "deadly typical", he said. "It really wasn't that much but when Sharjah gets 36 millimeters it can put quite a strain on things." Cars on some Sharjah streets remained almost submerged in water this morning as authorities struggled to clear away the water. Dubai International Airport received only 16.7 mm of rainfall, despite reports from drivers who said Sheikh Zayed Road was made nearly impassable because of rain and hail. "A typical thunderstorm cell is about 10 kilometres in diameter so the amount of rain you get can be absolutely variable. At the port, for example, you can get 50 millimetres and two kilometres away you can get only one." In addition to the rain, winds of up to 33 knots were recorded. "That's touching into gale force and it was likely to have been higher in other places," the forecaster said. Sudden outbursts of poor weather are normal during the spring, he added. However, they would the weather would start to become calm and predictable as the summer months approached. Heavy rains were responsible for the death of at least one woman according to Dubai police. Water accumulating on the roof of the Indian Pavilion at Global Village in Dubai caused a partial collapse, injuring 15 and killing one. The Global Village CEO, Saeed Ali Bin Redha, said the site would not be open today due to the bad weather. He added: "Regrettably, we also confirm that an incident occurred on Saturday evening due to the extreme and unexpected weather conditions, when an element of the Indian pavilion entrance fell. "As a result of this accident, 14 people were taken to hospital by ambulance where one of the injured later died. The management of Global Village extends its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased and its sympathy to the injured and their families and remains available to assist them." "Global Village management is working closely with Dubai police and other concerned authorities to assist them with their investigations." The rain also stopped a tennis match between Novak Djokovic and Mikhail Youzhny during the Dubai Championships. The match resumed just after 2pm. Despite reports to the contrary in some media outlets this morning, all schools in Dubai were not closed because of flooding, the Ministry of Education said. jgerson@thenational.ae