Three Filipinos dead in UAE floods: officials

Three Filipinos dead in UAE floods: officials
Three Filipino workers have been reported dead in the UAE and 20 in neighbouring country Oman, as the storm pounded the Gulf region in recent days.
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People recover a stranded car on a flooded street in Dubai on April 19, 2024. Three workers from the Philippines have died in heavy flooding in the United Arab Emirates, Filipino officials announced [Getty]

Three workers from the Philippines have died in heavy flooding in the United Arab Emirates, Filipino officials announced, as the desert country struggled Friday to recover from record rains.

Two women suffocated inside their vehicle during the flooding and one man died when his vehicle fell into a sinkhole, the Philippines' Department of Migrant Workers said.

The women died in Dubai -- the first confirmed deaths from the floods in the city -- and the man died in Sharjah, media officers from the department told news agency AFP.

Their deaths bring the toll to at least four after a 70-year-old man was swept away in his vehicle in Ras Al-Khaimah, another of the oil-rich Gulf state's seven emirates.

"The two females died due to suffocation inside their vehicle during the flooding," the migrant workers' department statement issued on Thursday said.

"The third victim died due to major injuries sustained from an accident when his vehicle fell into a sinkhole at the height of the flooding."

The storms hit the UAE and Bahrain on Tuesday after causing flash floods and landslides in Oman, where at least 21 people died, according to official media, including several schoolchildren.

Middle East financial centre Dubai was particularly badly hit by the rainfall, the heaviest since records began 75 years ago.

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Inbound flights restricted

Dubai airport, the world's busiest for international travellers, has cancelled more than 1,000 flights and roads remained badly flooded and littered with abandoned cars on Friday.

Inbound flights will be limited until Sunday due to disruptions, a Dubai Airports spokesperson said.

"Due to the ongoing disruption...DXB is temporarily limiting the number of inbound flights from 12:00 pm (0800 GMT), 19 April for 48 hours," the spokesperson said.

"Departures will continue to operate," the spokesperson added.

Dubai airport has witnessed chaotic scenes with crowds of marooned travellers clamouring for information about their flights.

In an earlier statement on Friday, Dubai airport said it "is facing a backlog of baggage due to resource constraints".

"We have been providing necessary assistance and amenities to affected guests but due to road blockages, it's taken longer than we would have liked."

Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths had told the news agency on Thursday that he hoped to resume "something approaching normality" within 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Dubai-based construction giant Emaar Properties said on Friday that it will repair all rain-related damage in its residential complexes free of charge.

"We undertake to provide all possible support in such situations including complete repair of our customers' homes," Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar said in a statement carried by the Dubai government's media office.

Prominent Emirati businessman Khalaf Ahmad al-Habtoor said he would donate more than $4 million to assist Emirati nationals in repairing damaged homes.

The Habtoor Group, which owns several hotels in Dubai, provided free hotel stays for affected Emirati families, said Habtoor, who is the firm's chairman.

Other hotels have offered discounted rates to Dubai residents.