UAE | Environment

Storm hits Fujairah

Strong sea wave are pushing huge quantities of water on to many areas of the East Coast causing a number of road closures and diversions, as the early effects of Cyclone Gonu are felt.

  • By Fuad Ali, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 23:38 May 3, 2009
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Megan Hirons/Gulf News
  • Workers have been trying to stop roads from being flooded, including the highway at Al Aqah
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Fujairah/Kalba: Crowds of onlookers, curious to see the spectacle of sea waters swallowing-up huge chunks of the Fujairah beach, gathered to take photos and exchange cyclone anecdotes.

Mohammad Ali Sultan, a Fujairah resident said the whole situation reminds him of the Indonesia tsunami.

He said: “It's just like the Tsunami, as water is pushing on slowly from the shore, but it is just beginning, soon it will reach the houses on the other side of the road from the beach''.

Ali Mohammad Khamees, from Dibba, said: “It first people were told it was just rumours and the cyclone is not going to affect us, but then people started to see the strong waves and the situation change''.

In Kalba, authorities closed up the outbound corniche road, a key route linking Kalba to Fujairah, after it was submerged by sea water.

In Khor Fakkan, Paul Sant who runs a popular diving centre in Khor Fakkan said the authorities didn't turn up until the hotel was already flooded.

“There was no warning given by the authorities, even though we knew it was coming'' said Sant.

“The diving centre and the hotel car park are flooded and the hotel beach is totally under water…I can see the container ships rocking and rolling in the sea''. He added.

Residents and authorities expect conditions to worsen further still as the strong winds from Cyclone Gonu pick up speed and the sea tide continues to push in shore.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Scale Number
Sustained Winds (km/h)
Damage

Storm Surge

1
120-150
Unanchored mobile homes,
vegetation and signs.
1.2-1.5m
2
150-170
All mobile homes, roofs,
small crafts, flooding.
1.8-2.4m
3
170-210
Small buildings, low-lying
roads cut off.
2.7-3.7m
4
210-250
Roofs destroyed, trees
down, roads cut off, mobile homes
destroyed. Beach homes flooded.

4-5.5m

5
More than 250
Most buildings
destroyed. Vegetation destroyed.
Major roads cut off. Homes flooded.
5.5m+
Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), USA

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