A swirling storm coming from the Indian Ocean is expected to bring extreme flooding, gusty winds and heavy rains to the UAE’s east coast today.
Cyclone Maha moving towards the Middle East
After hovering around the Arabian Sea for the last few days, tropical storm Maha is developing from a category 1 cyclone to a category 2 cyclone today. At this intensity, wind speeds can reach between 160-170 km/h at the centre. Forecasts by the UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) show the winds heading northwest towards Oman and the UAE. The cyclone is expected to hit the east coast today.
Warning in place before Cyclone Maha hits UAE’s east coast
Water surges are anticipated thanks to Cyclone Maha and low lying land may be affected by this during times of high tide.
“The tsunami is expected to flood some low-lying areas of the country’s east coast as a result of the tropical storm Maha Starting Monday. We, therefore, call on the public to exercise caution and stay away from the shores of the eastern coasts.”
National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA)
East coast cities that could see the impacts of the cyclone include Kalba and Khor Fakkan in Sharjah and Dibba in Fujairah. Reports state that some families may take the decision to move out of their homes while the storm is in full swing.
Second cyclone within a week
This is the second major storm expected to hit the UAE in a span of one week, hot on the heels of the devastating Cyclone Kyarr which flooded parts of the east coast and claimed a hotel worker’s life. The young Arab man drowned after being dragged out to sea by a large wave which engulfed the hotel beach where he had been working.
Several roads were flooded in the aftermath, schools were temporarily shut down and residents were advised to move out of the Emirate. This is not the first incidence of bad weather causing havoc in the UAE this year. Back in April, rescue missions were carried out in Ras Al Kaimah when drivers were left stranded after flash flooding.