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Dubai faces heavy rain, flights disrupted; Abu Dhabi waterlogged.

Photo : AP

Heavy rain accompanied by lightning and thunderstorms struck parts of Abu Dhabi and Dubai on Thursday, causing disruptions to flights and bus services. This weather event occurred just days after severe flooding plagued the United Arab Emirates in April.

In Dubai, both inbound and outbound flights were affected, with five inbound flights diverted and nine arrivals and four outbound flights canceled. Notably, Emirates airline also had to cancel several flights, exacerbating the travel disruptions caused by the inclement weather.

Residents of Dubai were awakened in the early hours of Thursday by strong winds, thunder, and lightning, prompting the country's weather department to issue an amber alert. The alert warned of widespread rain-bearing clouds and adverse weather conditions expected to persist until May 3, advising residents to adhere to safety precautions during rainy periods.

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Waterlogging was reported in parts of Abu Dhabi, while strong winds were recorded in various areas including Jebel Ali, Al Maktoum International Airport, and Dubai Industrial City. As a precautionary measure, Dubai Airports and local airlines issued advisories to passengers, alerting them to potential delays when traveling to Dubai International Airport.

The UAE had previously issued alerts for medium to heavy rains for two days, encouraging remote work and distance learning in Sharjah and Dubai. The aftermath of April's record storm was still felt, with roads between Dubai and Abu Dhabi partially submerged, leading to logistical challenges such as product shortages in some Abu Dhabi supermarkets and restaurants.

Climate researchers have linked extreme weather events like these to climate change, highlighting the increased risk of flooding in the Gulf region due to rising temperatures and humidity. The lack of adequate drainage infrastructure in countries like the UAE amplifies the vulnerability to flooding during heavy rainfall.

May 2, 2024 2:59 p.m. 3970

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