People urged to stay indoors as UAE is battered by rain storms
Heavy rain hit the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday causing flooding and damage to buildings, leading authorities to close schools and urge people to stay indoors.
Rain lashed most of the seven emirates, beginning with showers around 4am in Dubai and Sharjah.
As the rain turned into thunder storms, flooding swept areas of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, prompting Twitter users to share videos of how the weather was damaging the usually hot and dry UAE.
Abu Dhabi authorities said they were working to clear roads blocked by flooding, but advised local residents to stay home or in their offices at work.
“We are working with the police, civil defence, transport departments and other entities to clear blocked streets and remove water from near bridges and tunnels,” Aweida al-Marar, from the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport told Gulf News.
“So far, property damage has been reported but no casualties and we are happy to note this.”
A video shared on Twitter showed part of a ceiling collapsing at Abu Dhabi international airport.
The head of public relations for Abu Dhabi police, Colonel Jamal al-Ameri, said that there have been several traffic accidents, but no casualties reported.
“However, waterlogging on streets and hard shoulders pose risks to motorists as do debris and fallen trees in in some areas,” he said on public radio.
Minister of Education Hussain al-Hammadi said all private and public schools will be closed on Thursday, as the bad weather looks set to continue.
By midday, winds of 100km per hour were recorded in Abu Dhabi, and the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology said “unstable weather is likely to persist over the country”.