Clean-up operation underway; many residents marooned with no way to exit homes
After a long night of chaos caused by bursting of pipe in early hours of friday, resulting in a fire, the saturday morning brought its own share of problems with no running water in the pipes and several stranded at home with their cars stuck in the water-logged streets.
“At least, we are few of the lucky ones because the gallons of water bottles kept aside for the dispenser is now being put to good use.”
He added: “My wife and two year old kid are moving out today to stay with a friend for tonight, while I stay back and ensure everything is sorted at home. We don’t know how long this clean-up will take, but Nakheel and Dewa officials have been moving things through the night, so it does look positive.”
Several residents also posted their situation on the website, with Lucy writing in to say: “The building next to mine is completely flooded on the ground floors; people are in the streets with suitcases and nowhere to go. My building too is cut off and there is no way to access in or out, we are marooned here.”
Another resident said: “The aftermath has left a real mess, there are cars buried in sand and debris around my building and the roads are still impassable, is anyone coming to clear the roads? We are cut off and cannot get out.”
Rafik S said: “Like things aren’t tough as it is with such intense temperatures, Ramdan and 15 hours of fasting, that now we don’t have water or a way to exit our homes? Thankfully, our neighbours have offered us a few bottles of water to cook a meal so we can break our fast. I am still hoping things will clear by then so we can head out for iftar.”
When asked, Rafik said that he was unable to visit the neighbouring mosque near building six for the morning prayers because of the flood.
An officer from developer, Nakheel, who was present on the scene confirming the clean-up operations have been underway since last evening, adding: “We had people on the scene within minutes of the water main mishap.
“Nearly 16 hours later, most of the clean-up is already done, with only some pockets remaining.”
Quizzed whether the water supply be restored shortly and he said that DEWA officials could comment on that.
However, as per eye witnesses even Friday, around 5pm, all access points into Discovery Gardens had been barricaded.
AP said: “My taxi waited at the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel exit from Sheikh Zayed Road for over 30 minutes, thinking we could enter through the back roads, but every car there was driving around in circles.”
Describing the scene, she said: “It was utter chaos. There were no officials to guide anyone, no signage for alternative routes; cars were still submerged in water and I even saw poor woman in hijab with her husband, attempting to dig her car out of the mud.”
Last night, at approximately 9pm, a water main burst and sent churning hot water flooding into the Jebel Ali Gardens neighbourhood, sending panicked residents to flee the scene.
Four hours later, a short circuit in the transformer unit near the district cooling station caused an explosion and a corresponding fire, resulting in the evacuation of neighbouring Ibn Battuta Mall.
Civil Defence tackled the blaze in a short while, with Dubai Police authorities cordoning of sections of the neighbourhood in a massive clean-up operation, while rescuing stranded people during the mayhem.
Gaurav Raj narrated such a scene, saying: “Great work done by Dubai police that rescued a couple standing on the roof of car with a three year old child. No one could set foot into the boiling waters, it was so hot.”
Meanwhile, while this reporter was on the scene, the authorities rescued a few stranded teens that were left alone at 2am outside Ibn Battuta mall, after having been dropped off earlier by their parents for a film screening.
The family was unable to reach them as the access points into the Gardens had been barricaded shortly after the incident