Iran and UAE – Deadly Floods After Days of Heavy Rain

Days of heavy rain from 09 January 2020 caused severe flooding in southern Iran and parts of United Arab Emirates. At least 2 people lost their lives and hundreds were displaced.


State-run Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported flooding in Sistan and Baluchestan, Hormozgan and Kerman provinces. Snow has also caused problems in higher elevations.

Flooding has affected wide areas of Sistan and Baluchestan, including the capital Zahedan, as well as Konarak, Saravan, Nik Shahr, Delgan, Bazman, Chabahar, Zarābād and Khash. ISNA reported widespread damages, although full damage assessments are yet to be carried out.

Flooding has blocked roads and damaged houses, bridges, crops and infrastructure. Dozens of areas have been left isolated after roads were damaged or blocked. Schools have been closed in some affected areas.

According to ISNA, one fatality occurred in Zahedan, and there were unconfirmed reports of a fatality in Chabahar, where Iranian Red Crescent have carried out high water rescues.

United Arab Emirates

Heavy rain from 09 January also triggered flash flooding in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where at least one person has died. Observers said 09 to 12 January saw the heaviest period of rain in the country for over 20 years.

Local media reported that one person died in Al Fahlain, Ras Al Khaimah, on 11 January, when flooding caused the wall of a house to collapse.

Around 120 families evacuated their homes in Ras Al Khaimah, the the northernmost emirate of the UAE. Police and emergency services were called on to rescue several people trapped in flood waters, including 2 in Al Ain and 2 in Al Bateen.

Flooding also affected the neighbouring Emirate of Fujairah, where Civil Defence were called on to rescue a bus from flooding in Farfar Valley. Some schools here in Fujairah and the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah have been closed.

Dubai was also hit by heavy rain, with flooded roads causing major traffic disruption. Flights were disrupted at Dubai International Airport. Authorities have since embarked on a massive clean up operation. Dubai Municipality said that in a 24 hour period to 12 January, over 3,000 workers had drained and pumped out around 1.3 million cubic meters of rainwater across Dubai.

Local media, quoting figures from UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), said that several areas of the country saw more than 150mm of rain between 09 and 12 January. According to Gulf News, “the last time the UAE witnessed such vast amounts of rain was 24 years ago in Khor Fakkan, which saw 144 mm of accumulated rainfall.”

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