Dubai flooded into the sea, and these people entered "survival mode" as soon as they landed

Jackand others2Authors
24-04-17 14:59
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In the past two days, the desert metropolis of Dubai has been flooded.

On the morning of April 16, passengers who landed in Dubai looked out of the plane window and thought they had made an emergency landing on the sea. And this is basically the case. The apron of Dubai International Airport, which was recently rated as the "second busiest airport in the world", has been completely flooded into a sea: large shuttle buses are half submerged in water, large passenger planes are trying to glide in the water like stranded cruise ships, and the airflow from the propellers stirs up huge speedboat splashes.

Dubai Airport; Image source from the Internet

The heavy rain that lasted all day also turned the desert city of Dubai into a big pond. At the well-known local large shopping mall Mall of the Emirates, rain rushed into the store like a waterfall, washing the ceiling and goods onto the aisle. The water outside was knee-deep, and the streets became rivers, with only SUVs shuttling back and forth like speedboats. Many luxury cars parked on the street were either soaked or completely submerged, and netizens said "it was heartbreaking to see them."

Streets in Dubai; source from the Internet

Even on the "road to survival" to the hotel, some group members took photos of people swimming in the streets...

Swimming on the streets of Dubai; source from the Internet

The desert turned into the sea, and two years of rain fell in one day

Dubai, which has little rain all year round, had a heavy flood yesterday, with heavy rain pouring down. According to the Dubai Meteorological Office, the cumulative rainfall in the 24 hours from 10 pm on the 15th to 10 pm on the 16th reached 6.26 inches (about 15.9 centimeters). According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the average annual rainfall in Dubai is 3.12 inches (about 7.9 centimeters), which is equivalent to two years of rainfall in one day.

Precipitation weather map of the UAE; source: X

After that, the National Meteorological Center announced that the UAE had experienced the heaviest rainfall in 75 years, with 254.8 mm of rainfall in the "Khatm al-Shakla" area of Al Ain in less than 24 hours. Every time it rains in the UAE, Al Ain is always the most severely affected area; in February this year, most areas of the UAE also suffered severe rainstorms, floods and hail.

Staying in a luxury hotel turned into going to Dubai to fight floods

"When I first arrived at the hotel, the front desk said there would be a fountain show in the afternoon, but I didn't expect it to be sprayed from the sky," Wang Shang (pseudonym), a participant staying at the Burj Khalifa, told BlockBeats. Wang Shang landed in Dubai on the afternoon of the 15th, and everything went well until he checked into the hotel, but by the evening, the entire Dubai was basically in a situation where he couldn't go out.

In the hotel restaurant and lobby, staff lined up with mops, trying to push the water that had flooded into the room out of the door. Later, there was really no other way, so the hotel manager directly brought in towels and blankets to block all the entrances of the hotel. The water was not only on the first floor, but also on the shopping malls and restaurants on the upper floors. The staff used seals to isolate the scene, and passers-by waded through the water.

Water accumulation in the hotel and shopping mall lobby; BlockBeats reporter filmed on the spot

But the heavy rain continued, and at night, many people found that the roof of the hotel they were staying in had a leak, and the water seeped down from the edges of the ceiling lights, cameras and other facilities. In some rooms, even the ceilings on the walls collapsed. BlockBeats learned from many participants in Dubai that the roof of the Atlantis Hotel on Palm Island has partially collapsed.

Water leaks in the hotel; BlockBeats reporter filmed on the spot

Due to heavy rain, many buildings' indoor equipment has been flooded and cannot function properly. On April 16, the Hilton Garden Inn in the Mall of the Emirates posted a notice to travelers, stating that due to weather reasons, the hotel will suspend the use of water supply and air conditioning systems to ensure the safety of travelers. In addition, due to the continued lack of traffic in the next two to three days, the hotel also reminds travelers to pay attention to their own food and beverages...

Lobby notice of Hilton Garden Inn; source from the Internet

Those who have food security are considered to be in a good situation, and those trapped on Palm Island are in a worse situation. Since the land transportation capacity of this artificial island and downtown Dubai is very limited, Palm Island is currently basically in a state of "isolation and helplessness". BlockBeats learned that some hotels and houses where participants were staying had power outages, and many people could not even eat.

Those who arrived were trapped at the airport, and those who did not arrive were trapped on the plane

The worst are those who are already on their way to Dubai but still unaware of the situation.

In the evening, the airport and the surrounding areas have already started the sea-viewing mode, but because some of the transport capacity that arrived in the afternoon is still there, passengers arriving in Dubai on the evening of April 15 can still take part of the transport capacity to escape the airport. From the arrival gate to the airport highway, dozens of Ubers rushed in a row, just like the Normandy landing. There was also a bus that was stranded in the water and failed to land, and the staff and passengers got off and pushed it away.

Road conditions outside the airport; source from the Internet

Passengers who arrived in Dubai early on the 16th were not so lucky. In addition to the sea on the apron, they also had to face the sea of people in the departure and arrival halls. BlockBeats learned that due to the lack of transport capacity, many passengers who had just arrived at the airport could not get a taxi and were trapped at the airport. A participant who successfully got an Uber told BlockBeats that the current price from the airport to downtown Dubai is three times the usual price. "There are many cars, just don't care about the price."

Arrival hall of Dubai Airport; source provided by netizens

In addition to being trapped at Dubai Airport, many passengers arriving on the 16th will encounter another situation, that is, waking up to find themselves landing in another city. According to BlockBeats, due to weather reasons, many flights choose to land in Doha, Riyadh, Muscat and other places, but this does not mean that they have escaped the disaster.

Because too many planes have landed in these cities temporarily, the airport shuttles and other transportation capacity are completely saturated and unable to transport passengers from the plane to the terminal. "I have been on the plane for 20 hours, and now I just want to fly back to my country," participant Vincy told BlockBeats. So far, she is still sitting on the plane and has not even eaten. Vincy has landed, because there are too many flights, and some flights are even waiting in line to land. Group members reported that "in order to force a landing in Hado, they circled more than 100 times in the sky."

Route map displayed on the plane screen; source from the Internet

The hottest conference in the industry, no one in the audience

The participants were trapped, and the conference itself was also seriously affected. Token2049 has always been the hottest annual conference in the blockchain and Web3 industries, and many institutions and project teams hope to find ideal investment targets and partners here. On April 15, due to heavy rain and the fact that many participants had not yet arrived in Dubai, some pre-conference warm-up activities were basically empty except for the guests on the stage.

Token2049 is not the latest industry conference held in Dubai. The Middle East Paints Exhibition held in Dubai recently was also affected. According to BlockBeats, the exhibition began to clear out the attendees at around 4 pm on the 15th for safety reasons. "It is said that the equipment was flooded and it would be flooded if we didn't leave," Su, who attended the paint exhibition, told BlockBeats that he could already smell the burning smell at the scene.

But extreme weather cannot stop crypto people from being eager to attend the conference. BlockBeats learned that many participants who successfully "landed" in Hadow and Riyadh have organized "branch venue activities" of Token2049 in the local area, and many local activity groups have dozens of participants.

Dubai, which has no drainage system, will have to flood for a few more days

The main reason for this sand sea survival is Dubai's extremely poor drainage system, or in other words, there is no drainage system here at all.

As a desert city, Dubai can count the number of rainy days each year on one hand, so it is not cost-effective to build a large-scale drainage system. In addition, Dubai is located at sea level, and digging a little will reach the groundwater level, and the choice of reservoirs is also limited. Cleaning and maintaining the sand in pipes and reservoirs will also cost a lot of money. After each rain, the accumulated water is either evaporated by the sun for 180 days or directly pumped out by municipal workers using pump trucks.

How the drainage system in Dubai works: pumping water manually and transporting it by truck; Source: Dubai Municipality

In fact, Dubai does not really have no drainage system. Dubai built a drainage system when it hosted the World Expo. It has a total length of 1.75 million meters of drainage tunnels, 60 rainwater pumping stations and 72,000 drainage holes along the network, and rainwater can be directly discharged into the sea or Dubai Creek along 28 outlets. However, small-scale precipitation can be controlled, but this rainstorm disaster that has not been experienced for more than half a century has paralyzed the drainage methods that have been accustomed to in the past.

According to the notice given by the local Dubai, due to the lack of a drainage system, the flooding of the entire city may continue for a few more days. During this period, participants may also gain more abstract life experiences. But most of the cryptocurrency community participants were not disgusted by the rainstorm, saying, "Water brings wealth, this is overwhelming wealth."

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