close
close

Philippine vet nurses work 72 hours through storms

UAE weather live: Emirates recovers from heavy storms

Ryan Cayamanda and Joshua Aldrin De Vera were finally able to return home on Friday morning after working more than 72 hours during the storms that hit the UAE this week.

The Philippine veterinary nurses started work at 7:30 am on Tuesday and decided to stay overnight at the Pet First Veterinary Clinic on Hessa Street in Dubai as the weather deteriorated and the emergency team could not reach there.

The clinic has several long-term patients, including a nine-month-old French bulldog named Milla, who requires 24-hour care, which meant someone had to stay to care for them.

“We also have stray cats (in need of injections) and a dog that is in a critical situation and needs 24-hour supervision,” said Rico Alanan, the clinic’s operations and development manager, who regularly monitors the CCTV cameras on checked her phone to make sure everyone was safe.

The UAE on Tuesday experienced its biggest day of rainfall since records began in 1949.

I am extremely proud and deeply grateful for the continued dedication

Rico Alanan, operations and development manager at Pet First Veterinary Clinic

Covering a 24-hour period up to 9pm on Tuesday, the National Center of Meteorology showed that one area of ​​Al Ain received 254mm of rain – the equivalent of about two years’ worth of average rainfall in the UAE.

Mr Cayamanda and Mr Aldrin De Vera had to work hard to prevent the clinic from flooding.

“They were able to stop the incoming water… so our clinic is safe, but our neighbor (a chocolate shop) has been badly affected. They were flooded and their electricity went out the first night,” Ms Alanan said.

Mr Cayamanda said it wasn’t much of a problem. “We have comfortable sofas, so we can sleep here and we have coffee machines, Wi-Fi, air conditioning and a television,” he said. The national one.

“We get paid for the extra hours. Don’t worry about it. The bosses take good care of us.”

The nurses may be modest, but Ms Alanan said the Pet First team is “immensely proud of our own superheroes”.

“I am extremely proud and deeply grateful for the continued dedication,” she said. “Being stuck for more than 72 hours is quite difficult as they are not assured of the safety of their own family and home.

“Their dedication exemplifies the true essence of professionalism and compassion for the animals in our care.”

Other staff arrived Friday morning to relieve the pair and now the clinic is offering a 50 percent discount on consultations for anyone who brings in rescued animals, as well as teleconsultations for clients who cannot bring in their pets because the roads are closed.

Ms Alanan said it is important to provide a safe place for animals injured by the storms and resulting flooding. “We humans are greatly affected, but there will be many more of these animals on the streets.”

She advised anyone who sees an animal in poor condition to take it to the nearest clinic for a check-up, although some clinics have yet to reopen.

“If they can’t get that animal to the clinic, they may have to provide food or temporary shelter where the animals can at least stay out of the water.

“The flood is the enemy right now, so we have to help the stray cats stay out of the water. It would be great to provide them with a safe place. The animals need our help.”

Since Tuesday, authorities have begun a clean-up operation after the storms.

Homes and roads have been flooded, cars have been left partially submerged on highways and flights have been cancelled, delayed and diverted.

An Emirati driver died during flash flooding in Ras Al Khaimah when his vehicle was swept away by strong currents. Three Filipino workers also died.

Other people have been forced to leave their homes as flash flooding caused property damage and led to power outages.

In the aftermath, the UAE community has come together to help everyone and all affected animals.

Residents have gone out of their way to rescue stray animals, and a number of vets in Dubai have offered free and discounted services to help injured pets.

Several restaurants in the UAE have also pledged to support people affected by the storm by providing them with a free meal, including Circle Cafe, Operation Falafel and Zaroob.

“In the wake of the recent heavy rains and weather events that have hit our beloved UAE, we believe that we must come together to support each other in times of need,” Circle Cafe operators said on Instagram.

The UAE is now bracing for wet weather next week after the NCM said there was a chance of light rain on Monday evening, followed by more rain in parts of the Emirates the next day.

Updated: April 21, 2024, 8:09 AM