Storm dumps three years of rain in a day in Oman and Yemen
Thursday, May 31, 2018, 12:36 - Clean-up efforts are underway after a powerful storm hit Oman's coastline Friday, dumping three years' worth of rain in one day and leading to widespread floods.
On Sunday, officials from Oman advised all private sector establishments in Dhofar region to shut down for three days after Cyclone Mekunu hit the southern part of the Gulf Arab country, causing extensive damage that halted operations at Salalah port.
The labor ministry declared a three-day holiday for companies and establishments in the private sector, state news agency ONA reported.
The central bank, meanwhile, issued a circular announcing a three-day holiday starting on Sunday for money exchange houses, banks, finance and leasing companies in Dhofar.
India’s Meteorological Department reported maximum sustained winds up to 180 kilometres with gusts up to 200 kilometres per hour and labelled the storm as “extremely severe”.
According to the agency, total rainfall amounts were 278.2mm, three times' the area's average annual rainfall.
The powerful storm overwhelmed creek beds in Salalah, Oman. Photo: Reuters
DOZENS OF FATALITIES
Five people were killed and at least 40 missing on the Yemeni island of Socotra. Three people, including a 12-year-old girl, were killed in Oman.
The dead were four Yemenis and one Indian national, residents and medical sources told Reuters, while the missing included Yemenis, Indians and Sudanese.
Among those missing were three local sailors lost when their ship capsized off the coast of the island.
Yemen declared a state of emergency on Thursday for Socotra, which lies between southern Yemen and the Horn of Africa and is renowned for its unique animal and plant life.
The storm flooded Socotra's villages and capsized boats, leaving much of the island without access to communications.
(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh. Mohammed Mukhashaf, Writing by Katie Paul, Editing by Ghaida Ghantous, David Goodman, Angus MacSwan and David Stamp)
With files from Cheryl Santa Maria