Dubai: Tropical Cyclone ‘Shaheen’ hit Oman on Sunday, bringing very high winds, heavy rainfall, and prompting authorities to delay flights to and from the capital, Muscat, and urging the residents to evacuate coastal areas.
The eye of the storm was approaching the capital Muscat on Sunday, surrounded by top winds of about 139km/h (86 mph). The cyclone is expected to “directly impact north Al-Batinah, Al Dhahira, Al Buraimi and Al Dakhliya”, a statement by the country’s weather agency said on Sunday.
According to weather experts, one of the biggest risks this cyclone poses is that in Oman’s desert climate the “ground is bone dry, so it can’t absorb the rain”.
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“The second part is this is a mountainous area, so that means the rain falls high above and it gushes.. so the combination of both of these would lead to the risk of high flooding,” he added.
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 were put up in emergency shelters.
Most of the oil-exporting country’s five million people live in and around Muscat. Roads in the capital would be open only to vehicles on emergency and humanitarian services until the storm dies down, authorities said.