Thousands forced to evacuate homes as UAE, Oman hit by torrential rainfall

Thousands forced to evacuate homes as UAE, Oman hit by torrential rainfall
Two days of heavy rain across the north and east of the country left 4,225 needing to be evacuated. (@FujPoliceGHQ)
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Updated 29 July 2022

Thousands forced to evacuate homes as UAE, Oman hit by torrential rainfall

Thousands forced to evacuate homes as UAE, Oman hit by torrential rainfall
  • The emirates of Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah were the most affected areas
  • Meanwhile in Oman, the Police Aviation and the Royal Air Force of Oman said they evacuated hundreds of people who were trapped in their homes and vehicles

DUBAI: Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in the UAE as torrential rainfall hit the country’s east and northern region, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said in a statement.

Two days of heavy rain across the north and east of the country left 4,225 needing to be evacuated.

Twenty hotels were made ready to accommodate more than 1,885 people, the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) announced on Thursday. 

The emirates of Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah were the most affected areas.

Videos circulating online showed vehicles almost entirely submerged, particularly in Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah and Fujairah.

The National Centre of Meteorology earlier issued a safety alert warning of a continuity of rainfall and flooding in the valleys over some eastern and mountain areas of the country.

NCEMA said it was coordinating with relevant authorities to provide water drawing tanks in the affected areas, and is closely monitoring the weather condition to prevent any potential risks and ensure the public’s safety. 

Both private and public non-essential employees in Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah were urged to work remotely until Friday, the Emirates News Agency reported. 

Meanwhile in Oman, the Police Aviation and the Royal Air Force of Oman said they evacuated hundreds of people who were trapped in their homes and vehicles after valleys in the Wilayat of Madha, Musandam Governorate overflowed. 

A shelter was set up in Madha to house those forced to evacuate, the Oman News Agency reported.


Lebanon to set session to elect new president on Sept. 29

Lebanon to set session to elect new president on Sept. 29
Updated 9 sec ago

Lebanon to set session to elect new president on Sept. 29

Lebanon to set session to elect new president on Sept. 29
BEIRUT: Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri will call for a session to elect a new president on Sept. 29, an official source told Reuters, despite no political consensus on a candidate.
The session will be held just over a month before current President Michel Aoun’s term is set to end on Oct. 31.

100 dead in Lebanon migrant shipwreck off Syria: new toll

100 dead in Lebanon migrant shipwreck off Syria: new toll
Updated 27 September 2022

100 dead in Lebanon migrant shipwreck off Syria: new toll

100 dead in Lebanon migrant shipwreck off Syria: new toll

DAMASCUS: Syrian authorities have recovered 100 bodies from a Lebanese migrant boat that sank off Syria last week, state media reported about one of the deadliest recent shipwrecks in the eastern Mediterranean.
The first bodies were found last Thursday and only 20 people were rescued out of as many as 150 passengers.
“The number of victims of the Lebanese boat has reached 100 people so far after another body was recovered from the sea,” Syria’s official news agency SANA on Monday quoted the head of Syrian ports Samer Kbrasli as saying.
All survivors have been discharged from hospital, SANA said.
Nearly three years of deep economic crisis have turned Lebanon into a launchpad for migrants, with its own citizens joining Syrian and Palestinian refugees desperate to flee rising poverty via dangerous sea voyages.
Those aboard the ship that sailed from Lebanon’s impoverished northern city of Tripoli were mostly Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians, and included children and elderly people, the United Nations said.
Lebanon hosts more than a million refugees from Syria’s civil war and has been mired in a financial and economic crisis branded by the World Bank as one of the worst in modern times.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi described the shipwreck as a “heart-wrenching tragedy.”
Since 2020, Lebanon has seen a spike in the number of migrants attempting the perilous crossing in jam-packed boats to reach Europe.
The UN children’s agency UNICEF said that 10 children appeared to be “among those who lost their lives,” adding that “years of political instability and economic crisis in Lebanon have pushed many children and families into poverty.”


Iranians outraged after TikToker shot dead in protests

Iranians outraged after TikToker shot dead in protests
Updated 27 September 2022

Iranians outraged after TikToker shot dead in protests

Iranians outraged after TikToker shot dead in protests
  • Najafi was shot six times in the city of Karaj, receiving bullets in the face and neck

DUBAI: A funeral has been held for Hadis Najafi, a young Iranian woman who was shot dead by security forces during protests near Tehran.

Najafi was shot six times in the city of Karaj, and was hit by bullets in the face and neck, according to a report by Radio Farda.

Videos of Najafi's funeral has been circulated on social media as online users paid tribute to the 20-year-old.
She had earlier gone viral in a TikTok video where she was seen tying her hair and preparing to join the anti-government protests, which were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the ‘morality police’ for breaching the strict Hijab rules.
At least 41 people have been killed as Iran continues to crack down on the nationwide demonstrations.


Algeria’s UN integration will develop with support, says FM Lamamra

Algeria’s UN integration will develop with support, says FM Lamamra
Updated 27 September 2022

Algeria’s UN integration will develop with support, says FM Lamamra

Algeria’s UN integration will develop with support, says FM Lamamra
  • Algiers seeks non-permanent seat on Security Council
  • Candidacy endorsed by African, Arab and Islamic bodies

LONDON: Algeria’s development remains on track and will continue with the support of UN member states, the country’s foreign minister Ramtane Lamamra said on Monday.

During his speech at the General Assembly Debate, Lamamra also reaffirmed his country’s push for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

“My country is a member of the UN, it celebrates this year the 60th anniversary of independence,” he said. “It resolutely pursues the process of building a new Algeria under the leadership of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.”

He continued: “My country reaffirms its compliance with the values and principles (of the UN) and its determination to revive the role of multilateral action in keeping international peace and security and the achievement of comprehensive, fair, and sustainable development.”

Lamamra outlined Algeria’s commitment to the principles of the UN charter ahead of elections scheduled for next June on membership in the Security Council.

“Algeria is aware of the magnitude of unprecedented challenges that arise at the international and regional levels,” he said.

“Therefore, it has submitted its candidacy for the position of non-permanent member of the Security Council, a candidacy endorsed by the African Union, the League of Arab States, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.”

Lamamra also confirmed Algeria would host an Arab Summit on Nov. 1 and 2, and that Algiers “aspired to make this event a crucial step in the joint Arab action, for an effective contribution of the Arab world to dealing with the current challenges on the regional and international scenes.”


UAE lifts mandatory mask policy in indoor places

UAE lifts mandatory mask policy in indoor places
Updated 27 September 2022

UAE lifts mandatory mask policy in indoor places

UAE lifts mandatory mask policy in indoor places
  • Masks are still mandatory in medical facilities, place of worship, and public transport
  • The new rules, effective from Sept. 28, waived social distancing between worshipers

DUBAI: UAE residents are no longer required to wear masks in indoor public places, in the country’s biggest ease of restrictions since the outbreak of COVID-19, the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) announced.

However, masks are still mandatory in medical facilities, place of worship, and public transport, officials said.
“Senior citizens and residents and people with chronic diseases are advised to continue wearing masks for their safety,” according to Dr. Saif Al-Dhaheri, NCEMA’s official spokesperson.
The new rules, effective from Sept. 28, also waived social distancing between worshipers, while keeping the mask policy in mosques and other places of worship.
Shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak, the UAE placed a stringent mask policy in indoor and outdoor places, imposing $815 (Dh3,000) fine on violators.
In February, authorities lifted the requirement to wear masks outdoors.
Face masks will also be optional in schools.
Under the new rules, the isolation period for COVID-19 positive cases has been reduced from 10 days to five. Close contacts are required to take a PCR test only if they display symptoms.