DMW working with UAE authorities to repatriate remains of OFWs

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star
DMW working with UAE authorities to repatriate remains of OFWs
A car is left on a flooded street following heavy rains in Dubai early on April 17, 2024. Dubai, the Middle East's financial centre, has been paralysed by the torrential rain that caused floods across the UAE and Bahrain and left 18 dead in Oman on April 14 and 15.
AFP / Giuseppe Cacace

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is working with United Arab Emirates authorities to repatriate the remains of three overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who died in the massive flooding in the UAE last week.?

Both the Migrant Workers Office-Dubai and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) also met with the next of kin of the three Filipino workers.

“They explained the procedures needed to facilitate the repatriation of the victims’ remains back to the Philippines,” the DMW said in a statement.

Two Filipinas died from suffocation inside their vehicle at the height of the flooding on Wednesday.

A third victim, a male, died from injuries sustained when his vehicle fell into a sinkhole also on Wednesday.

Two other Filipino workers, both male, suffered injuries from the vehicular accident and are recuperating in their hospital rooms, the Migrant Workers Office-Dubai reported.

Teams from the DMW, OWWA and the Philippine consulate general at the Dubai International Airport are working to assist Filipinos whose flights were delayed or rescheduled due to the severe rains and bad weather. They provided stranded Filipino passengers with food packs, essential personal items and airline flight assistance.

The Migrant Workers Office said the weather is improving, although large areas around the Gulf State remain flooded. It added that its office in Abu Dhabi also distributed food and relief packs to about 800 OFWs living and working in the Al Touba district, one of the remote areas badly affected by the severe weather disturbance.

Both the Dubai and Abu Dhabi Migrant Workers Offices, according to the DMW, would continue monitoring the situation and provide the necessary support and assistance to affected OFWs.

Four dead

Meanwhile, UAE authorities confirmed that the deaths from heavy rains rose to four on Friday. It also said the rains continue to flood roads and jam Dubai’s international airport.

The fourth casualty was an Emirati man in his 70s, who died when his vehicle was swept away by floods in the northern Ras Al Khaimah emirate.

Scientists blame increasingly common extreme weather events, such as the rains in UAE and Oman, on human-led global warming. The storm first hit Oman the previous weekend, killing at least 20 people, before pounding UAE on Tuesday with its heaviest rains in 75 years of records.

Dubai International Airport, one of the world’s busiest and a hub for travel around the Middle East, was still struggling to clear a backlog of flights three days after the storm.

It was limiting arrivals for two days until today.

Flagship carrier Emirates, one of the world’s biggest international airlines, said check-in was suspended for people planning to transit via Dubai, but those with the city as a final destination could travel as usual.

As of Friday morning, 1,478 flights to and from Dubai had been cancelled since Tuesday, approximately 30 percent of all flights, according to aircraft flight tracking website FlightRadar24.

In the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, state carrier Etihad said flight operations were back to normal.

The main road connecting Dubai, the most populous emirate, with Abu Dhabi remained partially closed on Friday, while an alternative route saw vehicles driving through low water on the hard shoulder past abandoned cars and buses.

In the UAE’s north, including in the emirate of Sharjah, local media reported people were still trapped in homes. Residents said there was extensive damage to businesses.

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