Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Indians among 11 killed as cyclone Mekunu strikes Oman, Yemen

General view after Cyclone Mekunu in Salalah Oman May 26 2018. Oman News Agency  Handout via Reuters General view after Cyclone Mekunu in Salalah Oman May 26 2018. Oman News Agency Handout via Reuters
Glenn Montgomery | 28 May, 2018, 14:13

Portions of Salalah, Oman's third-largest city, lost electricity as the cyclone made landfall.

A holiday destination, Salalah's empty beaches were strewn with debris and trash while churning waves inundated unprotected areas. Mekunu started to weaken to a tropical storm in Oman and authorities began clearing operations on Saturday after the heavy rain but warned residents to stay in their homes, with run-off from river valleys flooding most main roads in Dhofar. More than 30 people were still missing in Socotra, including Yemeni, Indian and Sudanese nationals. They laughed and shared plates by flashlight in a darkened ballroom, the cyclone's wind a boring roar behind their clatter.

Cyclone Mekunu has left ten people dead in Oman and Yemen with 40 others reported missing from the Yemeni island of Socotra according to news reports.

India's Meteorological Department said the storm packed maximum sustained winds of 170-180 kilometres per hour with gusts of up to 200kph.

Across Salalah, branches and leaves littered the streets.

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

The Yemeni high relief agency met with worldwide humanitarian organizations in Aden late Thursday to discuss the situation, the country's Saba news agency reported. Cyclone "Mekunu" provoked the flood, which resulted in several underpasses became twin lakes. The city is partially de-energized electrical trying to fix power lines.

Police also said that civil defense teams had rescued dozens of people who were trapped because of floods.

Salalah Port Services said it would take a minimum of 72 hours to "make the port safe".

He told AFP that authorities have recovered the bodies of the five Yemeni nationals and two Indians and were still searching for the remaining 12.

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