How UAE and its people pulled together during unprecedented rains

Ready to help: Officials come to the rescue of stranded motorists as rains lashed the UAE on Tuesday.
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The torrential rains across the UAE on Tuesday have opened up the floodgates of the social media like few other incidents in recent times. From official announcements and public advisories to calls for help and heartening action, everyone took to these instant platforms of communication to get their points across.

As the myriad posts continue to track the unprecedented story, the disproportionate focus on a barrage of complaints also needs to be addressed.

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The country is dealing with the aftermath of a record-breaker storm — Tuesday’s rainfall reaching 254.8mm in less than 24 hours. This, we are told, hasn’t happened in 75 years. There were flight diversions at the airports, delays on the Metro line and major disruptions in traffic as roads seemed like rivers. Yet, somehow, many expected a smooth-as-ever sail through it all.

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Dubai Municipality officials at work on Tuesday.
Image Credit: Supplied

The question is whether this is a fair ask?

What the UAE witnessed on Tuesday was an extraordinary situation, requiring an equally extraordinary response. A response that was duly met by the government, the private sector and the community at large.

Whether it was the police, civil defence, municipality, transport, education, health or other regulators, the officials went beyond their call of duty to handle the emergency at hand.

Proactive measures taken by the authorities in issuing weather alerts and advising remote operations a day before the rains fell held those that complied in good stead. Those that didn’t had to pay a price. And of course, there were some who had little choice to exercise, but still braved the storm.

There are many stories doing the rounds of how individual residents within communities rose to the occasion. They made a difference to those affected by the rains, whether it was trying to clear water logged areas, pulling out stranded motorists from vehicles, or providing food and temporary shelter to those who couldn’t reach home.

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UAE Civil Defence officials worked round the clock to assist those in need.
Image Credit: Supplied

All of this is not to take away from the pain of those who have had to contend with missed flights, commuting ordeals or water-filled homes and vehicles. But to harp on the negatives amid an unprecedented crisis is certainly not in order. Neither is the circulation of unverified videos and photos showing scenarios that could be far from the truth.

As the authorities constantly remind us, spreading rumours is a punishable offence under the UAE law. Yet, many think nothing of it.

The real test for a community lies in how it pulls together during a crisis, and without doubt, the UAE and its people have shown the way in an exemplary manner. Let’s salute that, and shun what’s not.