May 30, 2024

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Heavy rains and floods disrupt Dubai Airport and kill 19 people in Amman

Heavy rains and floods disrupt Dubai Airport and kill 19 people in Amman

Record rainfall levels have brought cities in the UAE and Oman to a standstill, with at least 19 people killed in Oman and flights diverted from Dubai airport.

In the United Arab Emirates, authorities urged all residents to stay home, as videos showed submerged cars on busy highways and planes leaving waves in their wake as they landed on flooded runways in Dubai. In Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, floods turned streets into raging rivers.

Experts said the severe deluge was likely the result of a regular rainy weather system made worse by climate change.

The storm hit Oman for the first time on Sunday, causing widespread flooding and prompting officials to close schools and government offices. The intensity of the heavy rains subsided on Wednesday, despite the authorities to caution Residents must remain cautious.

Several areas in Amman witnessed rainfall exceeding 230 mm, or about 9 inches, between Sunday and Wednesday. according to The country's National Emergency Management Committee. The average annual rainfall in Muscat, the country's capital, is about 100 mm, although other parts of the country can receive more rain.

By Wednesday morning, there were 19 deaths Certain By the Emergency Management Committee, including the infant. Ten of the dead were schoolchildren who were swept away by a car along with an adult, according to the Associated Press. Some schools remained closed in Amman on Wednesday, and some government employees were asked to work from home.

The United Arab Emirates saw its heaviest rainfall in 75 years on Tuesday, the government said He said On social media. The country's National Meteorological Center said one area received 255 mm of rain in less than a day.

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Officials at Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, received, on Wednesday, Travelers urged Do not go to the airport as flights continue to be delayed and diverted. Operations were briefly suspended due to the storm. Emirates Airlines, the national carrier, said it had suspended check-in services for passengers departing from the airport until midnight.

“Recovery will take some time.” The airport said on social media. “We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to address these challenges.”

Yousef Al Habsi, media advisor at the airport, said that some flights at Muscat International Airport were delayed and cancelled, while other flights were operating on time.

Although some have speculated that the UAE's recent cloud seeding efforts – using chemicals to increase the chances of clouds producing rain – could have contributed to the extreme weather, scientists said this was highly unlikely.

“A precipitation enhancement cannot cause this kind of increase in rainfall,” said Stephen Sims, a cloud seeding expert at Monash University in Australia, adding that any effects from cloud seeding would be “marginal” at most.

Janet Lindsay, a climate scientist at the Australian National University, said the extreme weather appeared to be the result of a relatively normal weather system that brought rain boosted by warming oceans and the atmosphere. “It is very likely that global warming played a role in the severity of the event,” she said.

Professor Lindsay said the low pressure system moving over the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf of Oman had interacted with parts of the jet stream, a river of winds moving from west to east at temperate latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, bringing rainfall.

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This in itself was not unusual. But as air and sea temperatures rose and ocean evaporation increased, there was more moisture in the atmosphere, which likely contributed to larger and more intense rainfall.

“In many parts of the world we are seeing fewer rainfall events that produce moderate to light rain,” she said. “More dry days, but on rainy days, it rains more heavily.”

Jenny Gross Contributed to reports.