05 March, 2010

Hadhramout: beware of flash floods

There has been lots of rains around here; especially on the Highlands and in Wady Hadhramout. With the rains, there are many flooded areas. And these floods, flash floods in particular, can be very dangerous and at times - fatal.

There are now several flash floods streaming in several parts of Hadhramaut. Flash floods may look simple and many here, because they underestimated the strength of the floods and being in a hurry, have lost their lives by trying to cross through them. Already, today, I heard that last evening, four people who were in a 4x4 vehicle trying to cross a flooded road - were swept away and all died. One managed to get out of the truck and climb over the overturned, partly submerged vehicle; some people on the banks of the streaming flood, tried to throw him a rope and get him out but the water rose higher and swept him away.

Whoever is traveling around here now, must take care. Flash floods are extremely dangerous and very unpredictable. Once swept away by water, it takes only a few minutes to die. There are very simple rules that you have to follow once it rains; and especially if you are aware of the presence of flash floods: if you are outdoors and a flash flood is likely, get to higher ground immediately; get out of places that are likely to flood, like canyons, ditches, and dry stream beds; avoid already flooded areas however shallow or safe it may seem; never attempt to cross running flood water. If you're in a car or traveling in a vehicle during a flood, never drive through flooded roadways! Turn around and go another way. If you car or the vehicle you are traveling in stalls, leave it immediately and get to higher ground. And be especially careful at night when it's harder to see flood dangers.

The rains are still continuing. For anyone traveling around here: take care! For more weather forecasts go to AccuWeather.