Sharjah Police stepped up patrols to ensure safe flow of traffic during the rains on Sunday and Monday Image Credit: Sharjah Police

Sharjah: At least 707 people, including 346 individuals from 61 families of UAE nationals, have been provided shelter in Sharjah after heavy rains damaged their residences, officials said on Wednesday.

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The Sharjah Department of Housing said it mobilised all its teams to evacuate residents from affected areas and provide immediate aid during the downpour over the weekend. The department added that it responded promptly to provide shelter to families affected by deluge, which resulted in water entering their homes, roofs collapsing, and electricity malfunctions. The affected families were housed in hotels in the eastern regions, many of them being accommodated in Kalba, Khorfakkan, and Dibba Al Hisn.

The department managed to house 61 citizen families from the Eastern Region, numbering 346 individuals, in four hotels. Technical teams visited the damaged homes and identified the ones that had become uninhabitable or on the verge of collapse.

‘Maximum assistance’

The department plans to create a system that can handle the consequences of unforeseen situations and enhance its operational efficiency. The department said it aims to provide secure and suitable housing options to ensure long-term residential stability for affected families. Additionally, the department will offer “maximum assistance” to those affected and identify their needs.

Rain damage certificates

On Tuesday, Sharjah Police said it has issued more than 300 documents certifying damage to shops and vehicles as a result of the rain. The figure is significantly down from 5,150 such certificates issued last year - a result of greater public awareness about following safety alerts during heavy rain, police said. The certificate can be obtained from the official ‘shjpolice’ app, through the ‘Issuing a certificate to whom it may concern’ service.

During the unstable weather, the police operations room handled 17,574 emergency calls via the number 999, and 4061 non-emergency calls via the number 901. Traffic patrols were also stepped up to ensure the smooth flow of vehicles.

24/7 municipality response

Also, on Wednesday, Sharjah City Municipality said 44mm of rain fell on Sunday and Monday, according to the measurement from the municipal meteorological station.

The municipality activated the proactive plans it had prepared in advance to tackle such situations, using technical and human resources to drain waterlogged areas around the clock.

Obaid Saeed Al Tunaiji, Director-General, Sharjah City Municipality and Chairman of the Supreme Rain Emergency Committee, said the subcommittees worked with a high level of readiness to deal with the recent weather instability.

Al Taniji added that the municipality deployed more than 300 municipal and private tankers, 120 mobile pumps, 75 fixed lifting stations, 160 pumps for fixed lifting stations and 75 spare ones, in addition to providing four innovative dam stations with high power for withdrawing and pumping water.

The director-general pointed out that the municipality has built 49 ponds to collect rainwater, so that water is pumped directly into them using pumping stations, especially in residential areas.

Al Taniji stated that more than 300 employees, including municipal leaders, sector managers, heads of teams and committees, and field supervisors, and 375 workers from the support groups worked to carry out the municipality’s work in the field around the clock.

Roadside assistance

He explained that the inspection and patrol teams of the Operations Section of the Control and Inspection Department assisted the public on the roads by pulling vehicles damaged by the water and provided more than 10 vehicles for towing, which contributed to enhancing the flow of traffic, preserving property, helping other teams in removing rainwater pools, and facilitating the arrival of tankers to locations.

Call centre

Al Taniji said that the call centre number 993 has increased its state of readiness to deal with the situation and transfer reports to the field teams more quickly. The centre received 4,133 reports were transferred to the relevant teams and departments to deal with them immediately, as the centre works 24/7.