Thunder and lightning light up Dubai skies
Heavy rainfall hit parts of Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai and Umm Al Quwain on Saturday night. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) on Sunday issued an alert for residents to avoid using their mobile phones during a thunderstorm.

The series of advisory messages were made after the National Centre for Meteorology said it expects more rain and thunderstorms to hit the UAE over the next three days.

On Saturday night, heavy rain, lightning and thunder affected various parts of Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai and Umm Al Quwain, which continued until the early hours of Sunday morning.

“You may use mobile or landline phones indoors if you wish, as it is safe. But be aware that mobile phones should not be used outdoors,” said the national crisis authority.

According to NCEMA, residents should avoid touching electrical equipment, such as computers, televisions, and microwaves during a storm, especially when lightning is expected to hit. During a thunderstorm, mobile phones and laptops are safe to use, as long as they are not plugged into an electric socket.

Things to avoid during a thunderstorm

If you are outdoors, please carry out the following procedures:

  • Avoid standing under high standing alone trees, electricity posts and telecommunication posts.
  • Do not try to walk beside shores or flowing water, valley ducts, dams or pools.
  • Try to find a safe place and stay away from electrical power during heavy rains. The disconnection of the electrical products does not mean it is safe.
  • Stay away from flowing water and valley ducts, especially if you were swimming in the sea.
  • Prepare adequate firefighting tools and equipment because lightning could cause fires to break out.
  • Avoid using mobile phones except in utmost urgent cases, especially during thunder storms.
  • Use a landline phone for emergencies if you were in an open place and beware that mobile or landline phones are safe to use only indoors.
  • Do not attempt to reconnect the electricity in case of disconnection and seek support from competent authorities instead.
  • Do not leave the house before ensuring the situation is back to normal, and watch weather forecasts through local media.