United Arab Emirates

At least 3 Filipinos dead in UAE flooding

Michelle Abad

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At least 3 Filipinos dead in UAE flooding

FLOODS. Cars are stranded in flood water caused by heavy rains, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 17, 2024.

Amr Alfiky/REUTERS

(1st UPDATE) Most Filipinos, while unharmed, have difficulties getting to work because of flooded roads

MANILA, Philippines – At least three overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been reported killed due to flash floods in the United Arab Emirates this week, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said on Thursday, April 18.

In an X post on Thursday, DMW Officer-in-Charge Hans Cacdac said two of the deceased OFWs suffocated in their vehicle during the flood. Another was killed when his vehicle “fell into a sinkhole at the height of the flooding.”

“We shall provide utmost support and assistance to their families,” said Cacdac. The DMW also issued a statement saying that its local offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are working closely to assist the families of the three OFWs.

The UAE reeled for a third day as it dealt with the aftermath of a record-breaking storm on Tuesday, April 16, causing flooded roads and airport disruptions. Meanwhile, in neighboring Oman, roads were also flooded and rainwater inundated homes.

The DMW said that the Migrant Workers’ Offices and Overseas Workers Welfare Offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are preparing to distribute relief goods and basic necessities.

The premises of the Philippine consulate in Dubai were not spared from floods either. However, the consulate was able to return to normal operations on Thursday.

According to Dubai-based Filipino journalist Jojo Dass, while the Filipinos are safe, getting to work remains a problem.

“Some sections of the metro system [are] still closed. Here, most of us live in apartment buildings, so it’s not much of a problem. It’s how to get to work that has become the issue,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

In a statement to the local Filipino media on Thursday, the Philippine consulate in Dubai said it is working with Filipino communities to reach out to those affected by the floods.

“So far, the reports being received [are] that Filipinos are helping fellow Filipinos as well as other nationalities in Dubai, proof that bayanihan is alive and well,” it said.

The consulate also said it is coordinating with Dubai airport authorities to address concerns of stranded passengers in the international hub.

In neighboring Oman, which also experienced flash floods, the seriously affected areas are villages with no OFWs, the DMW said.

The Philippine embassy in Oman on Tuesday expressed sympathy for its host country as it lost nationals to the flash floods. – Rappler.com

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Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a multimedia reporter at Rappler. She covers the rights of women and children, migrant Filipinos, and labor.