The UAE’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) and other authorities have advised residents to exercise caution while driving as heavy to moderate rains hit four emirates on Wednesday. According to an update posted by the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), the rainy and dusty conditions will prevail at least till 11.30pm tonight.
In an alert, the MoI warned of “fluctuations in weather conditions” and low visibility with heavy rains, and high-speed winds kicking up dust.
“Avoid valleys and places where water flows,” the ministry advised. Heavy rains usually result in valleys flooding as water gushes down the mountains.
The NCM urged motorists to avoid driving unless absolutely necessary.
Authorities in Ras Al Khaimah warned that trying to cross valleys during heavy rains may cause vehicles to drift, resulting in accidents.
Residents have also been told to avoid going to beaches and the sea.
Heavy to moderate rains have hit parts of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah’s Al Dhaid and Khor Fakkan and Fujairah this morning, according to the NCM.
The UAE’s Storm Centre posted this video from Fujairah:
The country will receive rainfall of different intensities with thunder and lightning at times today.
The unstable weather will continue tomorrow, with a “significant decrease” in temperatures. Friday and Saturday will also see some rainfall over coastal, Northern and Eastern areas.
Police on high alert
In Ras Al Khaimah, patrols have been dispatched to monitor roads and prevent motorists from driving near valleys, the authorities said on Wednesday.
Reiterating the UAE Government's warning, the emirate's emergency and crisis management team had stressed that now is not the time to head to the sea and wadis (valleys).
Maj-Gen Ali Abdullah bin Alwan Al Nuaimi, Commander-in-Chief of Ras Al Khaimah Police and head of the local emergency and crisis management team, said the expected rain could lead to gushing water from valleys, as well as turbulence in the sea.
Maj-Gen Al Nuaimi urged residents to prioritise safety and put any outdoor adventures on hold, particularly road trips to the sea.
He also appealed to all drivers to follow the guidelines issued by all authorities in the country to ensure road safety. In case of emergencies, the public can get in touch with the police by dialling 999 or 901.
The MoI and National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) had earlier announced the country’s readiness to “face any emergency that may arise as a result of the prevailing weather condition and its fluctuations”.
Residents were told follow official weather forecasts and adhere to instructions issued by the authorities.
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