Flooding at Dubai International Airport, arriving flights diverted due to storm

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Dubai International airport has cancelled all flights as flood ravaged the United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday, with most of the city flooded and disrupted airport operations.

A video posted online showed the tarmac of Dubai International Airport — recently crowned the second busiest airport in the world — underwater as massive aircraft attempted to navigate floodwaters.

CNN reports that nearly four inches (100 mm) of rain fell over the course of just 12 hours on Tuesday, according to the weather observations at the airport.

According to United Nations data, the rainfall was around what Dubai usually records in an entire year.

The flooding disrupted airport operations in the city, with multiple airlines announcing flight delays and cancelled flights on Wednesday.

Jets were said to have looked more like boats moving through the flooded airport, while other parts of the UAE also recorded heavy rainfall.

“Operations continue to be significantly disrupted. There is major flooding on access roads around Dubai leading to the airport,” the airport was quoted as saying.

The rain reportedly fell so heavily and quickly that motorists were forced to abandon their vehicles as the floodwater rose and roads turned into rivers.

Dubai, like the rest of the UAE, has a hot and dry climate. As such, rainfall is infrequent and the infrastructure to handle extreme events is not in place.

Many roads and other areas have insufficient drainage due to the lack of regular rainfall, causing flooding.

The rain that ravaged the city is associated with a larger storm system traversing the Arabian Peninsula, moving across Oman and Iran.

Experts said torrential rainfall will become frequent in the region due to human-driven climate change.


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