Unprecedented Dubai Flooding Disrupts Airport Operations

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Written By Vikas Jangid

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Dubai flooding: Unprecedented Rainfall Causes Widespread

Dubai flooding, United Arab Emirates, is grappling with the aftermath of unprecedented rainfall that caused widespread flooding, including at Dubai International Airport, one of the world's busiest hubs for international travel.

The torrential rain, described as a "historic weather event" by state-run news agency WAM, surpassed any previously recorded rainfall since data collection began in 1949.

Heavy Rainfall and Flooding

The heavy rain began late Monday, saturating the desert landscape and roadways of Dubai with nearly 0.79 inches of precipitation, as reported by meteorological data from Dubai International Airport.

The intensity of the storms increased on Tuesday morning, leading to continuous downpours and hail that inundated the city.

Source: Twitter/ETNOWlive

Impact on Dubai International Airport

Over the course of 24 hours on Tuesday, Dubai experienced an astonishing 5.59 inches of rainfall, far exceeding the annual average of 3.73 inches for the airport. This significant deviation from typical weather patterns resulted in extensive flooding, particularly affecting critical infrastructure like the airport.

Airport Operations Disrupted

At Dubai International Airport, floodwaters encroached upon taxiways, posing challenges for arriving aircraft. Tuesday night saw the suspension of arrivals, leaving passengers grappling with the difficult task of navigating flooded roads to reach airport terminals.

Efforts to Restore Operations

The airport announced via social media that operations were briefly suspended for approximately 25 minutes on Tuesday afternoon, with all incoming flights diverted until weather conditions improved.

As of late Wednesday morning, both the airport and Emirates, its flagship carrier, continued to advise travelers against unnecessary visits, as flight check-ins remained suspended.

Challenges Faced by Passengers

Amid the disruption, a couple, speaking anonymously to The Associated Press due to stringent laws against criticism, described the situation at the airport as chaotic.

They recounted difficulties in securing transportation, witnessing stranded individuals sleeping in metro stations and airport premises.

CEO’s Assurance Amid Ongoing Challenges

Paul Griffiths, the CEO of the airport, addressed the ongoing flooding issues on Wednesday morning, noting that all available aircraft parking spaces were occupied.

Some flights had been redirected to Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, the city-state's secondary airport.

Possible Influence of Cloud Seeding

The possibility of "cloud-seeding" influencing the rainfall has been raised, as rain fell not only in the UAE but also in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

However, the UAE experienced particularly intense rainfall. Cloud seeding involves government-operated planes releasing special salt flares into clouds to stimulate precipitation, potentially contributing to increased rainfall.

Widespread Impact and Response

The widespread flooding prompted the closure of schools across the UAE, with many government employees transitioning to remote work arrangements.

Tanker trucks were dispatched onto the streets and highways to alleviate the flooding, with water seeping into residences, necessitating homeowners to bail out their houses.

Regional Impact and Climate Change

In neighboring Oman, heavy rains claimed the lives of at least 19 individuals, highlighting the broader impact of extreme weather events in the region.

Climatologists have long cautioned about the impact of human-induced climate change, emphasizing its role in exacerbating extreme and unpredictable weather phenomena worldwide.

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