NewsRecord-breaking UAE floods captured by NASA from space

Record-breaking UAE floods captured by NASA from space

Flood photos in Dubai
Flood photos in Dubai
Images source: © NASA
12:14 PM EDT, April 23, 2024

The United Arab Emirates experienced its heaviest rains in 75 years, leading to severe flooding across the region. NASA, the American space agency, has released striking images showing the extent of the flooding after the recent downpours.

The National Center for Meteorology reported that Dubai received 44.4 gallons per square yard of rain, while the area near Al-Ain saw as much as 68.3 gallons. The UAE averages 37–53 gallons of rain annually, with Dubai receiving just under 26.4 gallons.

Flooding caused Dubai's main airport to halt operations for 25 minutes last Tuesday, resulting in several flights being canceled and many others diverted. Emirates, the UAE's flagship airline, closed its check-in counters by midnight on Wednesday, advising passengers to avoid the airport.

Local reports highlighted instances of people trapped in offices for more than 30 hours due to the storm and impassable roads. Even Dubai Mall, one of the world's largest shopping centers, was not spared from the flooding.

The flood seen from space

The flood's impact was so significant that it was visible from space. Two days after the rain stopped, the Landsat 9 satellite captured images of extensive flooding across the United Arab Emirates. In particular, photos from the Jebel Ali area in southern Dubai show the drastic changes in the landscape before and after the flooding.

The satellite images display deep blue puddles amidst the region's typically dry, brown terrain. Significant flooding in Abu Dhabi is also evident, with smaller water bodies appearing light blue and larger with deeper ones appearing dark blue.

Before picture
Before picture© NASA

Interestingly, large patches of land turned a light green hue following the rain, indicating that the soil retained moisture from the rainfall, even in areas that were not completely submerged.

After the photo
After the photo© NASA
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