3 Filipino workers killed during historic United Arab Emirates floods

Three workers from the Philippines have died in heavy flooding in the United Arab Emirates, Filipino officials announced, as the desert country struggled on 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 in a statement.

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 said.

The incidents bring the death toll to at least four after a 70-year-old man was swept away in his vehicle in Ras Al-Khaimah, one of the oil-rich Gulf state’s seven emirates.

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Pedestrians walk near flooded roads after heavy rainfall in Dubai. Photo: EPA-EFE

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

“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 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.

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Residents move their belongings on a kayak at a flooded residential complex following heavy rainfall, in Dubai. Photo: Reuters

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

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 would be limited until Sunday due to disruptions, a Dubai Airports spokesperson said on Friday.

“Due to the ongoing disruption … DXB is temporarily limiting the number of inbound flights from 12:00pm, 19 April for 48 hours,” the spokesperson said.

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Dubai airport flooding from record rainfall strands thousands of travellers

Dubai airport flooding from record rainfall strands thousands of travellers

“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, the 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 said on Thursday that he hopes to resume “something approaching normality” within 24 hours.

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