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Heavy rain kills six in Oman, UAE: media
by Staff Writers
Muscat (AFP) March 10, 2016

Serbia declares state of emergency over floods
Belgrade (AFP) March 10, 2016 - Serbia declared a state of emergency Thursday amid widespread flooding as it was deluged by heavy rains triggered by unusually high temperatures in eastern Europe and freezing conditions elsewhere.

More than 700 homes were flooded across a vast area of the Balkan country with 170 people needing to be moved for their safety, police said in a statement.

Further heavy rain was expected in the coming days, forecasters warned.

More than 50 people died and tens of thousands were displaced in spring 2014 when Serbia and its neighbours were hit by some of the worst floods in living memory.

Flood damage was estimated to have cost the country as much as 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion), according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Torrential rain in northern Oman and the United Arab Emirates has killed six people this week, local media reported Thursday.

Omani police on Thursday found one body that had been swept away in a flash flood in the northern district of Nizwa, and another in a car that sank into the mud in a flooded valley in the northwestern area of Al-Buraimi, the Shabiba daily reported.

The two fatalities brought Oman's death toll to five, the paper said.

The Times of Oman newspaper said heavy rain had hit northern areas of the sultanate -- which is prone to thunderstorms -- since Sunday.

Images posted on social media on Thursday showed cars stuck in gushing riverbeds and rescue teams using ropes to pull people out of the water.

In the United Arab Emirates, a seven-year-old boy drowned on Wednesday after he was trapped in a car that was caught in floods in the border area of Hatta, The National daily reported.

In Dubai, the weather was calm on Thursday but several streets remained flooded after unusually heavy rain and high winds hit many parts of the UAE the previous day.

Flights at Abu Dhabi airport were suspended for several hours on Wednesday, while the emirate's stock market said it suspended trading and cancelled all morning deals after many traders could not reach the bourse.

Schools have been closed since Wednesday in both Gulf countries due to the storm.

The UAE's annual rainfall stands at 78 millimetres (three inches), more than 15 times less than the amount for an average year in Britain.

But the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology said some 294 millimetres of rainfall were recorded on Wednesday near Al-Ain.

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