9 rescued from sea; 100s from homes; Snow or hail?

By Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 18 December 2017: Severe weather in the last 24 hours has prompted the Marine Rescue Section (MRS), a unit of Dubai Police, to put their readiness to a real test.

According to MRS Head, Lt. Colonel Abdullah Al Naqbi, the marine unit responded to three calls for help on Saturday night. The calls were received by the Command and Control Centre at the Dubai Police Operations Department, who then notified the MRS.

Police report that a call for help was made by seven young men after their boat capsized. An MRS rescue team went to the scene and rescued all seven individual. The boat was also towed to a safe area, said Wam.

The team also rescued a man whose boat capsized off Palm Jumeirah, while a boat with one man on board was also towed to safety in the Mina Seyahi area.

Al Naqbi warned the public not to venture out to sea, to adhere to the instructions of the Municipality and Police, and avoid swimming in areas where red flags have been raised.

rain clouds weather unstable

Rains affect Fujairah, Khorfakkan, Kalba

FUJAIRAH: Rains struck the Emirate of Fujairah and its East Coast cities, from Kalba and Fujairah City passing through Khorfakkan and Deeba, averaging between moderate and heavy levels of rainfall, accompanied by lightning and thunder.

The heavy rain was centred in areas within Fujairah City and neighbouring mountain villages on Sheikh Khalifa Road, Masafi, Al Bathnah and Dafta, which led to rushing water in the valleys and plateaus, as well as low temperatures, while the sky remains overcast.

Khorfakkan City also witnessed heavy rainfall, leading to rushing water on mountain plateaus and valleys, and flooding on roads and low-lying areas. The Fujairah Police and Civil Defence are managing the traffic and pumping out accumulated water.

snow 1In Kalba, the rainfall averaged between moderate and heavy and included hail showers and local flooding in the valleys.

The Fujairah Police called on the public to be cautious while driving, as a result of heavy rains and poor visibility, while advising them to stay away from flooded areas in the regions near the area’s mountains and valleys.

The weather, with moderate to heavy rainfall, is expected to continue until Monday.

More than 100 accommodated

ABU DHABI: No casualties or losses have been reported following the unstable weather conditions that have hit parts of the UAE over the past 24 hours, including heavy rains over some emirates and cities, said the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) in a statement today.

A surface depression has inflicted heavy rains over the past 24 hours in the emirate of Fujairah and the City of Al Ain as well as Kalba and Khorfakkan in Sharjah and led to running valleys and flooding of some houses.

Up to 167 UAE nationals from Kalba have been sheltered at a hotel in Fujairah in addition to vacating and sheltering 558 people from 28 families in Fujairah, while checking 24 households from Al Ain in a hotel in the city, NCEMA explained.

“The authority is liaising with all authorities concerned, including police and municipalities, to manage the current stormy weather and its efforts have contributed to reducing the aftermath of the situation,” said the statement.

“Meetings have been held over the past days with all relevant departments after forecasts of unstable weather have been received through the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology on an expected surface depression that may inflict torrential rains, as a result of which people have been advised to stay clear away from running valleys. Since last night until now the emergency teams have been making tireless efforts to manage the situation in the affected areas and mobilised all resources needed to avert all potential dangers, including rains, and piled waters in low territories, high ways and residential areas,” added the statement.

All efforts have been made to withdraw piled water from the areas and roundabouts which received heavy rains across Al Ain Region and Al Dhafra Region, said the statement, adding that electricity has been cut off some houses pending withdrawal of piles of water mechanically.

“All resources have been mobilised to deal with any consequences to result from the unstable climatic conditions,” concluded the statement, expressing appreciation for all state departments concerned, as well UAE people and residents who have contributed to NCEMA’s efforts to avoid any dire sequels of the depressione, which is expected to gradually decline in intensity by Monday afternoon.

In the meantime, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Team has affirmed that it has been closely liaising with all statement departments concerned over the developments of the depression currently hitting the country to avert any potential consequences as a result of the rainfall.

hail snow

Different parts of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, including Al Rahba, have witnessed scattered heavy to light showers of rains without any damage or casualties reported.

The team has noted that heavy rainfall has flooded some houses, which necessitated vacating around 140 persons from 24 families, who have all been decently accommodated in collaboration with all state departments concerned, including the Emirates Red Crescent, Al Ain Police, Civil Defence Department of Al Ain and Al Ain Distribution Company.

Work is still at full tilt with all strategic departments and national authorities concerned to ensure full preparedness for the weather fluctuations in close collaboration with the Centre of Meteorology and Seismology which forecasts the depression to decline in intensity by Monday afternoon.

ERC accommodates 188 people

ABU DHABI: Under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, 188 people affected by heavy rainfalls in Al Ain and Fujairah have been decently accommodated by ERC.

The country’s premier aid provider vacated 140 affected people in Al Ain City and 48 in Kalbaa and they have all been checked in a number of hotels. Up to 600 affected people in Fujairah were as well provided with food meals by ERC and they were appropriately sheltered by authorities concerned.

ERC is currently collaborating with all state departments concerned, including the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority and Civil Defence and Police departments to provide the victims with all amenities of life pending their safe return home.

ERC teams have as well provided all needed psychological and moral support to the affected families in keeping with their humanitarian roles and responsibilities.

An emergency room has been established by the ERC General Secretariat and branches nationwide three days ago following the unstable climatic conditions warnings sent by the Centre of Meteorology and Seismology, as a result of which voluntary and operating teams have been mobilised in anticipation for any emergencies.

Traffic back to normal in Wadi Al Helo Tunnel Road

SHARJAH: No casualties or losses have been reported following the unstable weather conditions that have hit parts of Sharjah, according to a top official at the Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Team in the Emirate, who has affirmed that all those who have been affected by the surface depression in Kalba have received all necessary support and aid.

Brigadier Abdullah Mubarak bin Amer, Deputy Chairman of the Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Team of the Emirate of Sharjah, stated that all necessary efforts have been made around the clock in collaboration with state departments concerned in the emirate to manage the situation, noting that ad hoc committees have been formed emirate-wide to manage the situation, and that current conditions in Kalba are being closely monitored and appropriately handled.

Up to 167 people in Al Waha Residence have been sheltered in addition to allocating 33 apartments for emergency, he said, adding that five households were accommodated at Al Raha Hotel in Fujairah while 15 flats have been reserved for emergency purposes.

Several tanks have been immediately dispatched, including three by Al Dhaid Municipality, two by Mleiha Municipality and six by Al-Bataeh Municipality to drain rainwater off in Kalbaa, he added.

A meeting was held with the Crisis Management Committee in Khorfakkan, to provide all necessary police and traffic support for Kalba residents, while warning messages have been sent in collaboration with the Sharjah Government Media Bureau for Khorfakkan residents to adhere to weather instructions.

“We have received a cable from Kalba Police that Wadi Al Helo-Tunnel Road has been cleared and traffic is now back to normal,” added the official, expressing appreciation to all officials and people in Kalba for their collaboration.

Plans for rainy season

DUBAI: Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development, has said that his Ministry has prepared a comprehensive plan to prepare for the rainy season, following a specialised study to determine the causes of landslides and flooding and to adopt practical solutions. This includes the design and building of a system to manage rainwater drainage at Exits 103, 110, 119 and 129 on Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road in Dubai.

He explained that the ministry had previously coordinated with its strategic partners from local governments and had formed working teams of engineers to prepare for urgent incidents during the rainy season and to help these partners. The teams are also responsible for repairing damage, managing traffic and overcoming problems caused by rainwater, ensuring the safety of lives and property.

Dr. Al Nuaimi said that the ministry is considering the implementation of a rainwater drainage system in regions that have previously suffered from flooding, adding that practical solutions will be adopted to prevent a recurrence of this problem. He said that the ministry’s teams have also studied areas that suffer from landslides, in order to establish permanent solutions to the problem.