Officials: Three Filipinos dead in UAE floods

DUBAI: Three workers from the Philippines have 8 in heavy flooding in the United Arab Emirates, Filipino officials announced, as the desert country struggled today to recover from record rains.

Two women suffocated inside their vehicle during the flooding and one man died when his vehicle fell into a sinkhole, the Philippine's Department of Migrant Workers said in a statement.

The women died in Dubai -- the first confirmed deaths from the floods in the city -- and the man died in Sharjah, media officers from the department told AFP.

The incidents bring the death toll to at least four after a 70-year-old man was swept away in his vehicle in Ras Al-Khaimah, one of the oil-rich Gulf state's seven emirates.

"The two females died due to suffocation inside their vehicle during the flooding," said the Migrant Workers Department's statement issued on Thursday.

"The third victim died due to major injuries sustained from an accident when his vehicle fell into a sinkhole at the height of the flooding."

The storms hit UAE and Bahrain on Tuesday after causing flash floods and landslides in Oman, where at least 21 people died, according to official media, including several schoolchildren.

Middle East financial centre Dubai was particularly badly hit by the rainfall, the heaviest since records began 75 years ago.

Dubai airport, the world's busiest for international travellers, has cancelled more than 1,000 flights and roads remained badly flooded and littered with abandoned cars today.

Inbound flights would be limited until Sunday due to disruptions, a Dubai Airports spokesman said today.

"Due to the ongoing disruption...DXB is temporarily limiting the number of inbound flights from 12pm, 19 April for 48 hours," the spokesman said.

"Departures will continue to operate."

Dubai airport has witnessed chaotic scenes with crowds of marooned travellers clamouring for information about their flights.

In an earlier statement today, the Dubai airport said it "is facing a backlog of baggage due to resource constraints".

"We have been providing necessary assistance and amenities to affected guests but due to road blockages, it's taken longer than we would have liked."

Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths told AFP on Thursday that he hopes to resume "something approaching normality" within 24 hours.

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