Friday, 22 June, 2018

One dead as Cyclone Mekunu hits southern Oman

Cyclone tears through Yemeni island Socotra Extremely Severe Cyclone Mekunu heads for Oman and Yemen - Blog by Jo Farrow
Gerardo Duncan | 28 May, 2018, 14:12

The port and airport of Salalah have remained closed since Thursday. To place this in context, Oman's average rainfall is 117mm annually.

One of the strongest cyclones in southern Oman slammed into Oman and and war-torn Yemen on Sunday leaving more than thirty missing and seven dead.

The nation's other dams include Al Hemayah, which received 29 million cubic metres, and Shako Dam in Rakyhoot, which recorded 3000 cubic metres of water.

Authorities in Oman have said they expected the cyclone to pass over the city of Salalah on Friday night.

India's meteorological department described the cyclone as "extremely severe", with sustained winds of about 110mph (177km/h). More than two dozen people are still missing. It tore away roofing, whole roadways and street lights. The Arabian Sea churned on Saturday morning, sending mounds of sea foam into the air.

Rescue teams on Friday found alive four Indian sailors who were among 17 who had been reported missing when the cyclone hit Socotra's port, and search operations are continuing for eight Indian sailors.

On Socotra, authorities relocated over 230 families to sturdier buildings and other areas, including those more inland and in the island's mountains, Yemeni security officials said.

In Salalah, the heavy rain had nearly stopped on Saturday, an AFP photographer said, but many streets were still under water and nearby valleys were flooded.

Governor of al-Mahra province in Oman, Rageh Bakrit, said winds had destroyed houses and taken out communication lines and water services.

He told AFP that authorities have recovered the bodies of the five Yemeni nationals and two Indians and were still searching for the remaining 12.

Portions of Salalah, Oman's third-largest city, lost electricity as the cyclone made landfall.

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