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Rare heavy rains and flooding hit several Gulf countries

General view of flood water following a day of heavy rain in Fujairah, UAE, on Thursday. - Reuters
General view of flood water following a day of heavy rain in Fujairah, UAE, on Thursday. - Reuters

CAIRO: Unusual heavy rains and flooding have struck several Gulf countries in the past few days, in areas more noted for summer scorching heat and drought.

In the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah and Sharjah on Wednesday experienced flooding that forced the relocation of families from deluged homes, Emirati media reported.

The UAE National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) issued a safety alert to people in the flood-hit emirates of Sharjah and Fujairah, the English-language newspaper The National said online.

The NCM said the rains this year were more intense than in previous ones, the paper added.

Non-essential employees were allowed to work from home on Thursday and Friday in flood-affected areas.

Qatar, the host of this year’s Fifa World Cup, was hit by a rare thunderstorm and downpours.

Online footage showed vehicles wading through a flooded coastal road. The small nation has witnessed unusual rainy weather since early on Thursday, Qatar’s state news agency QNA reported.

Weather forecasts have warned of thunder rains along with strong winds until the weekend in some parts of Qatar.


At least six people were killed in floods near Tehran on Thursday, most in a landslide that dumped mud four metres deep in a village west of the capital, emergency services said.

The flash flooding near the capital, in the foothills of the Alborz mountains, comes less than a week after floods in the normally arid south of Iran left 22 people dead.

Footage from the village of Emamzadeh Davoud posted on social media showed a teenager caked in mud clinging to a pole as a roaring spate of debris-filled water rushes past him. A wall is seen collapsing moments later.

“So far, five people have been confirmed dead and nine injured by the floods in Emamzadeh Davoud,” Iranian Red Crescent chief Pirhossein Kolivand told state television, adding that several vehicles had been swept away.

East of the capital, in Damavand, a body was recovered from floodwaters, state news agency IRNA reported.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said that parts of Emamzadeh Davoud had been buried under up to four metres of mud. — dpa/AFP

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