Thursday, 14 November, 2019

Powerful cyclone lashes Oman, Yemen; 3 dead, 40 missing

Powerful cyclone lashes Oman, Yemen; 3 dead, 40 missing Powerful cyclone lashes Oman, Yemen; 3 dead, 40 missing
Patty Aguilar | 26 May, 2018, 22:01

According to an Al Jazeera report, there are high chances of the storm gathering energy, and becoming a Category 3 system before it makes landfall especially "with sea surface temperatures in that region of the Arabian Sea between 31 and 32 degrees Celsius, and low wind shear (a change of wind speed and direction with height)".

After several hours of heavy rainfall in the province, the meteorology centre warned of flooding and winds of up to 170 kilometres (106 miles) per hour.

On Friday, the cyclone lashed southern Oman with high winds and rain, killing at least three people and wounding three a day after wreaking havoc on the Yemeni island of Socotra.

General view from the Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara during Cyclone Mekunu, in Salalah, Oman May 26 2018, in this still image obtained from a video by social media.

Rushing waters from the rain and storm surges flooded typically dry creek beds.

As torrential rains poured down on Friday, authorities opened schools to shelter those whose homes are at risk.

Civil aviation authority have closed Salalah airport until midnight on Saturday.

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He said the hotel staff were preparing for the worst outcome, ensuring there was enough fuel to power the generators, should the main electricity supply be cut. They described the cyclone as "extremely severe".

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, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

The 12-year-old girl is among three people who have been found dead in Oman, while seven people have been killed in Socotra, said officials from both affected countries.

Cyclone Mekunu caused flash flooding that tore away some roads and submerged others in Salalah, the country's third-largest city, leaving drivers stranded. The Times of Oman reported that dozens of people had to be rescued from vehicles trapped in the floodwaters and at least 27 more had to be rescued from flooded homes.

It said Yemen's government, exiled in Saudi Arabia, had declared Socotra a "disaster" zone after the storm.

A cyclone more powerful than any previously recorded in southern Oman slammed into the Gulf country and neighboring Yemen on Saturday, deluging a major city with almost three years' worth of rainfall in single day.

37% of Socotra's plant species, 90% of its reptile species and 95% of its land snail species do not occur anywhere else in the world.

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