Published: Sun, May 27, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Extremely Severe Cyclone Mekunu heads for Oman and Yemen

Extremely Severe Cyclone Mekunu heads for Oman and Yemen

Oman's Public Authority for Civil Aviation assured the public it's monitoring the storm and will issue updates as it progresses.

The port of Salalah, crucial to Qatar amid a boycott by four Arab nations over a diplomatic spat with Doha, said it also had taken precautions and secured cranes ahead of the cyclone.

An Indian labourer died in a flooded valley, a man was reported drowned when his auto was swept away, and a 12-year-old girl was killed when winds blew her into a wall, Oman police said.

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. They described the cyclone as "extremely severe".

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.

Oman authorities urged residents in low-lying areas to evacuate to emergency shelters or stay indoors if safe to do so.

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.

A vehicle makes its way through standing water on a road in Salalah, Oman.

A video shared by the Oman Observer news outlet showed flood waters overcoming the Wadi Sahalnoot damn near Salalah.

And at least 11 people were killed in waters near the island when two ships went down in the pounding rain and wind, the official said. The eye of the Cyclone Mekunu is 75 kilometres away from the city of Salalah in Oman.

Flash floods engulfed Socotra streets, cutting electricity and communication lines, they said.

Largely untouched by Yemen's three-year-old war, it is under the control of the internationally-recognised government whose president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, is in exile in Saudi Arabia.

In Oman, Mohammed Omer Baomer warned his neighbors about a torn-away chunk of road just down the street from his home after earlier getting his SUV stuck over it. "You try to watch from the window and you can't".

He added that Cyclone Mekunu has slowed down and that it is no longer categorized as a hurricane but an orbital storm.

The Yemeni high relief agency met with worldwide humanitarian organisations in Aden late Thursday to discuss the situation, the country's Saba news agency reported.

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