Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Girl, 12, among three killed as Cyclone Mekunu hits Oman

Girl, 12, among three killed as Cyclone Mekunu hits Oman

So far, at least 5 people have been killed in Oman and on the Yemeni island of Socotra, where at least 30 others are still missing.

After thrashing the Yemeni island of Socotra, where nearly 17 people are feared dead, the cyclone is now expected to thrash near Salalah, Oman on early Saturday.

Blowing dust will be caused by "light to moderate winds freshening at times". It also comes just days after Cyclone Sagar struck Somalia.

Torrential winds and rain have left several villages flooded and capsised many boats. Rageh Bakrit, the governor of al-Mahra province, said strong winds had destroyed houses and taken out communication lines and water services.

As of late morning on May 25, local time (Oman is eight hours ahead of United States ET), the cyclone had maximum sustained winds of 105mph, as an "extremely severe cyclonic storm" by the Indian Meteorological Department - the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane.

The eye of cyclone is 75 kilometres away from the city of Salalah.

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

Muscat: INS Deepak and INS Kochi were dispatched from Mumbai yesterday as first responders to the crisis situation in Salalah, Oman.

Omani forecasters warned Salalah and the surrounding area would get at least 200 millimeters (7.87 inches) of rain, over twice the city's annual downfall.

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.

Roads have been washed away near Salalah and numerous rescues have been executed by the Oman Royal Police.

Socrotra is now embroiled in another kind of storm, as tensions between the Yemeni government and the United Arab Emirates over the presence of Emirati troops on the island recently reached a head.

The internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi declared early Thursday Socotra a "disaster province" due to severe damage, according to Saba.

Socotra has a unique ecosystem and is home to rare plants, snails and reptiles that can be found nowhere else on the planet. It also said it planned to deploy more ambulances and police officers to areas likely to be affected by the cyclone.

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