View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

‘Cyclone Gonu Approaching the UAE’ Tuesday, 5 June 10.30pm (UAE Time)

‘Cyclone Gonu Approaching the UAE’ must be one of the most Googled phrases today, with widespread interest in the cyclone’s progress.

We live approximately 400 metres from the beach and we can hear the roar of the ocean as we step out our front door tonight.

It is a beautiful evening with a pleasant breeze. It has not started to rain although thunderstorms are expected.

The waves are crashing onto the beach. The tide is coming in and is now up to the first of the three rows of barricades in front of Mr Abdul’s beach house (see earlier photos). Two men are standing on these high barriers like sentries, hoping that their work done earlier in the day will withstand the onslaught of the approaching waves.

At the main beach, the water seems to be getting higher in the car park and big earth movers have their engines running ready to undertake whatever strategy the municipality has devised if water starts coming over the main highway. The ‘rubber-necks’ as they are called in Oz are stopping their cars along the side of the road to get a slice of the action.

Most people are hoping that the predictions from the weather office are true, that the cyclone will hit Muscat, Oman and head north with the eye of the storm bypassing the UAE.

Further along, in a slightly higher area there are scores of cars and swarms of spectators who have come out to see the sights. At the moment there is a carnival atmosphere, with people enjoying the novelty of the occasion. From time to time the waves surge up onto the land while the police command owners of parked cars to set them further away from the water.

N.B. This description of the carnival atmosphere needs to be read in conjunction with the UAE Civil Defence Statement which I will post on this site.

Geoff Pound

Image: Light reflecting on the submerged Fujairah beach car park.