Indoor Air Quality Alert: Dubai Flooding

What is the location of the flooding?

On April 16, 2024, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and neighboring Persian Gulf nations experienced widespread flash flooding (1)(2). One person died in the UAE and another 19 were killed by flooding in Oman.

There was heavy rainfall in Bharain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as well.

Nearly 6.26 inches of rain fell in Dubai within 24 hours – double that normally experienced by the city. Typically, Dubai receives around 3.7 inches of rain per year (3). In nearby Al Ain, a UAE-Oman border city, 10 inches of rain fell in a single day (4).

Dubai International Airport was severely flooded by the torrential rains, disrupting flights at the busiest international airport in the world.

Which cities or areas are affected by the flooding?

Cities affected in the UAE by the flooding include:

Every Emirate has experienced some flooding. The flooding impacted neighboring countries like Oman, where severe flooding was also reported.

What is the current containment status of the flooding?

Flooding is being contained in some regions. In Dubai, authorities are actively working to clear debris and drain flooded roads, while also focusing on recovery efforts at Dubai International Airport. Some roads have been blocked by debris, trees, furniture, and vehicles that had been submerged during the flooding.

There may still be ongoing challenges in managing floodwaters in certain areas of the UAE and Oman, particularly those lacking adequate drainage infrastructure.

Are there any evacuation orders or alerts in place?

Schools have been closed and residents are being encouraged to remain at home in Dubai.

How can I protect myself from mold after flooding?

It’s important to take steps to prevent mold after a flood.

  • Before entering a flooded area, make sure it is safe and free from electrical hazards or structural damage.
  • Use protective gear: wear gloves, goggles, and a KN95/FFP2 mask to minimize exposure to mold spores.
  • If there is still standing water, remove it as quickly as possible. Use pumps, wet-dry vacuums, or buckets to extract the water.
  • Open windows and doors to facilitate air circulation and use fans, dehumidifiers, and HVAC systems to help dry the space. This step is crucial within the first 24-48 hours after flooding to prevent mold growth.
  • Remove and discard any items that have been severely damaged by floodwater and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. This includes carpets, upholstered furniture, mattresses, and any other porous materials.
  • Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with a detergent or cleaner suitable for mold remediation. Use a solution of 1.5 cups of bleach mixed with one gallon of water to disinfect nonporous surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products, as the fumes are toxic.
  • Maintain an indoor relative humidity (RH) of 35-50%. High humidity promotes mold growth, so consider using dehumidifiers in damp areas.
  • Run a high-performance air purifier for mold, both during and after the mold removal work.
  • If the flooding and mold damage are extensive, consider contacting professionals specializing in mold remediation to ensure proper cleanup and restoration.
Remember, mold can pose health risks, so it's important to take these steps promptly and thoroughly. If you experience persistent mold-related health issues or have concerns about extensive mold growth, consult with a medical professional or a mold remediation specialist.

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