Flash Floods In Desert Persian Gulf States Kill 19

Apr 18, 2024

UAE's Heaviest Rainfall and Flash Floods Killed 19

Extreme storms dumped more rain on Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in recent days than parts of the region receive in two years. They've left at least 19 people dead in flash floods. They also plunged the Dubai International Airport tarmac under water. 

The victims include at least 10 school-aged children. They were swept away with their driver in flooding that struck Samad A’Shan, Oman, on Sunday. Police and soldiers were deployed to the region. They performed air rescues to save 75 others. On Tuesday, heavy storms pummeled the UAE, also. They forced drivers to abandon their cars. They shut down schools. They also stranded workers at home. 

The rare storms in this desert region come amid efforts by the UAE to increase rainfall through cloud-seeding. That’s when chemicals are scattered across the sky to produce rain-bearing clouds. Climate scientists insist that couldn't have caused the deluge.  

“It’s highly likely that global heating has played a role in the intensity of the event,” Janette Lindesay told The New York Times. Lindesay's an Australian National University climate scientist. The expert said the deluge was likely triggered by a low pressure system moving with the jet stream. Lindesay said the system combined with a rise in evaporating ocean water from higher temperatures. That flooded the air with moisture, Lindesay stated. 

From the heavy storms, the Dubai airport saw over a half-foot of rain in one day. It normally receives roughly three inches of rainfall yearly. Other parts of the country were hit with 10 inches of rain. Parts of Oman received nine inches of rain between Sunday and Wednesday. That's more than twice as much as falls in those areas in a year.   

“This is truly a historic event for our area,” wrote meteorologist Nahal Belgherze on X. 

Reflect: How do unusual weather events, like flooding rain in a desert, impact communities in those areas? 

Photo of flooding in Dubai from Reuters. 

The use of the word “insist” in the third paragraph indicates ________. (Common Core RI.5.4; RI.6.4)
a. some certainty
b. unhappiness
c. a questionable opinion
d. much uncertainty
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