At least 11 dead, 30 missing after cyclone hits Oman, Yemen

28 May, 2018, 14:09 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Men walk on a flooded road Thursday as rain and winds from Cyclone Mekunu hit the island of Socotra

Cyclone Mekunu blew into the Arabian Peninsula early yesterday, drenching arid Oman and Yemen, cutting off power lines and leaving at least three dead and 40 missing, officials said.

Oman's directorate general of meteorology said the center of the cyclone struck west of Salalah, the second largest city in the Gulf state, late Friday accompanied with strong winds, torrential rains and high tides.

The cyclone also hit areas in southeast Yemen neighbouring Oman.

Dozens of vehicles were seen submerged in several areas. However, Mekunu was downgraded to category 1 after losing some of its strength.

An emergency meeting was held by Sheikh Abdullah Salim Al Samli, Executive President of the Capital Market Authority (CMA), with insurance companies on easing compensation processes for clients who incurred damage when Cyclone Mekunu hit Dhofar Governorate.

India's Meteorological Department said the storm packed maximum sustained winds of 170 to 180 kilometres per hour with gusts of up to 200kph. He said there were no deaths in the province. The girl died after she was swept against the walls by the wind whereas the other got washed away in a vehicle. Three Asians who were wounded by the cyclone were rescued.

Rains are expected to continue for two more days, drenching the area with more than 100 millimeters (four inches) of rain, nearly six times its annual average, Amman-based weather experts WASM said on Twitter. Authorities said however that schools would remain closed until Monday.

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Authorities have urged other residents to stay indoors.

The central bank, meanwhile, issued a circular announcing a three-day holiday starting on Sunday for money exchange houses, banks, finance and leasing companies in Dhofar.

Socotra's governor Ramzy Mahrous said on Sunday that the death toll on the island remained seven - five Yemenis and two Indian sailors.

Yemenis, Indians and Sudanese were among those missing on the Arabian Sea isle and officials feared some may be dead.

Rescue team found four sailors in their search operations.

Around 1,000 families on Socotra, with a population of around 60,000, were evacuated after their homes were damaged. The island of Socotra has been declared a disaster zone by the government.

The Port of Salalah - a key gateway for the country - also closed, its cranes secured against the pounding rain.

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