Cyclone Shaheen hits Oman with fierce winds, killing four


DUBAI, October 3 (Reuters) – Tropical Cyclone Shaheen killed four people as it swept through Oman on Sunday with fierce winds and heavy rain, inundating streets, causing evacuations from coastal areas and delaying flights to to and from the capital, Muscat.

As the cyclone approached, a child who had been swept away by the water was found dead, the state news agency said, and another missing person was also found dead. Two Asian workers were killed when a hill collapsed on their living area in an industrial area, the state news agency reported.

When its eye crossed the earth, the cyclone was carrying winds of between 120 and 150 km / h (75-93 mph), Omani authorities said. It launched waves of up to 10 meters (32 feet).

Video footage from Omani broadcasters showed vehicles submerged as people attempted to make their way through brown and muddy flood waters.

Part of the Storm Eye Wall, where the most severe weather conditions occur, had entered South Al Batinah Governorate, the state news agency said. The eye also entered between the states of Musanah and Suwaiq.

Up to 500 cm (20 inches) of rain was expected in some areas, increasing the risk of flash floods.

Cyclones are gradually losing their power over land and Shaheen has been demoted to a tropical storm after cleaning up the ocean, the Weather Service said on Twitter.

Sea waves intensify off the beach of a local hotel, as the Port of Salalah is seen behind in Salalah, Oman on October 11, 2018. REUTERS / Stringer

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The national emergency committee said the power supply would be cut in al-Qurm, east of the capital, to avoid accidents. More than 2,700 people have been accommodated in emergency shelters.

Most of the oil-exporting country’s five million people live in and around Muscat. Authorities said the capital’s roads would only be open to emergency and humanitarian vehicles until the storm subsides.

A wooden ship sank at the port of Sultan Qaboos and its crew were rescued, the National Emergency Management Committee said on Twitter.

WATER PRECAUTIONS, SAUDI ARABIA

In the United Arab Emirates, authorities said precautionary measures were being taken. Police were moving to provide security with patrols near beaches and valleys where torrential rains were expected.

Government and private sector workers in the town of Al Ain, on the border with Oman, were asked to work remotely on Monday and authorities called on residents to avoid leaving their homes except in an emergency. the Abu Dhabi government media office said.

“Authorities are working proactively around the clock to assess residential units in affected areas and transport families to safe locations until it is possible to return safely,” he said. .

Saudi civil protection authorities have called for caution in several areas from Monday to Friday pending high winds and possible flooding, the state news agency reported.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli, Nadine Awadalla, Enas Alashray, Ahmed Elhamy, Nayera Abdallah and Omar Fahmy Writing by Nadine Awadalla and Michael Georgy Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Philippa Fletcher, Catherine Evans and Frances Kerry

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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