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Tragic flash floods in Dubai have submerged hundreds of vehicles underwater

Tragic flash floods in Dubai have submerged hundreds of vehicles underwater

Heavy rainfall has lashed the normally arid Gulf state.

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has been hit by incredibly heavy thunderstorms in the last couple of days, causing widespread flooding.

The normally dry state has had to divert countless flights as it battles with conditions that it isn't normally used to.

As authorities scrambled to cope with the injured and stranded, images and videos have circulated on social media showing cars submerged in water.

GIUSEPPE CACACE / Contributor / Getty
GIUSEPPE CACACE / Contributor / Getty

Rain also fell in Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which is unusual in the arid Arabian Peninsula, but occurs periodically during the cooler winter months. Many roads and other areas lack drainage given the lack of regular rainfall, which can cause flooding.

Some experts have linked the sharp increase in rainfall to climate change, with extreme weather patterns becoming more common and harder to predict as the planet continues to warm.

However, some have also suggested that Dubai has been proceeding in recent weeks with its "cloud seeding" plans, which aim to bring on rainfall.

This involves customized planes with flares on their wings, which fly into clouds and fire those flares. This adds mass to the clouds and makes them more likely to drop their moisture in the form of rain, and has been marketed as a way to combat the normally very dry climate in Dubai.

By the end of Tuesday, 142 millimeters (5.59 inches) of rainfall had fallen Dubai over the previous 24 hours, which eclipses the total average rainfall in an entire year, which normally stands at 94.7 millimeters (3.73 inches).

This shows just how drastic the rainfall has been, and shows it's hardly a surprise that the city's infrastructure hasn't been able to cope.

Anadolu / Contributor / Getty
Anadolu / Contributor / Getty

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai's main airport, told the state-owned talk radio station Dubai Eye: "It remains an incredibly challenging time. In living memory, I don’t think anyone has ever seen conditions like it. We are in uncharted territory, but I can assure everyone we are working as hard as we possibly can to make sure our customers and staff are looked after."

Dubai isn't the only victim, meanwhile, with heavy rain also causing chaos in nearby Oman, where at least 18 people have been killed by floods, according to a statement on Tuesday from the country’s National Committee for Emergency Management.

The rain has now eased in Dubai, meaning the rescue efforts and cleanup should be less disrupted, but this may well spark a conversation about its only recently lauded cloud-seeding efforts.

Featured Image Credit: u/Bonusmeme696/Reddit / saksit13429/Reddit