Rain and Floods Cause Chaos in Gulf Region

Rainfall in areas of the Gulf have resulted in incidents of flooding, with 1 person killed and one injured.

United Arab Emirates

Some places need only small amounts of rainfall to cause flooding. Gulf countries are those such places, as shown yesterday in the United Arab Emirates when less than 3cm of rainfall resulted in flash flooding, causing over 300 traffic accidents, with 2 of them serious, killing one and injuring another.

The rain fell in just a nine hour period between early morning and afternoon, 7 January 2014. According to The Khaleej Times, the worst hit areas were

Ras Al Khaimah’s Jebel Jais mountain, which registered 27.4mm, Masafi hit 25mm, Al Shuwaib in Abu Dhabi recorded 21.8mm, while Dubai Airport registered 16mm and Sharjah Airport had 11mm

The newspaper said that the rain had turned internal roads and open desert into pools of water within just a few hours.

floods in UAE
Flooded roads bring traffic to a standstill. Photo: twitter.com/khaleejtimes

Emergency services received over 2,000 calls as drivers and residents struggled in the flash floods. Schools were closed early as a precaution.

Severe flooding hit the Gulf region on 20 November 2013. Some buildings and homes in the UAE are still showing damage from the earlier floods.

UAE’s National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) warned that the unstable weather is to continue across the whole of the country, in particular coastal and northern areas.

Saudi Arabia

Heavy rainfall has also brought flash floods to Saudi Arabia. On Sunday, 5 January 2014, 12 motorists were caught in flood waters in a valley south of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The twelve – all female teachers – had to be rescued by Civil Defense teams using helicopters.

makkah floods rescue
Makkah Floods rescue. Photo: Arab News

The valleys around Mekkah are especially vulnerable to flash flooding after heavy rainfall and Saudi authorities have warned people to avoid valleys at times of any period of heavy rain.

Sources: Arab News; The Khaleej Times