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Gulf | Oman

Thundershowers claim two more lives in Oman

Death toll from adverse weather spell climbs to four

  • Staff Report
  • Published: 20:52 April 24, 2013
  • Gulf News

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Muscat: Swollen wadis claimed two more lives as heavy rains drenched large swathes of the northern half of the Sultanate for the second successive day, the Royal Oman Police said on Wednesday.

The latest fatalities take the death toll linked to the current spell of adverse weather to four.

A number of people trapped in flooded wadis were airlifted to safety as the Royal Oman Police joined the Civil Defence and the Ambulance Service in responding to numerous calls for help from distressed citizens and residents during the course of Wednesday.

In the district of Saham on the Batinah coast, emergency teams retrieved the body of a 60-year-old man from a vehicle that had been washed away by floodwaters along Wadi Al Batha. Also in Saham, local villagers found the body of a young girl who had been swept away by a torrent coursing through Wadi Al Mahmoum.

Elsewhere in Saham, Civil Defence personnel responded to a number of emergencies involving people stranded in flooded homes. At Huwail Al Jadidah, emergency staff scrambled to the rescue of eight members of a family whose dwelling was inundated by floodwaters. Similar operations were also mounted in Ibri and the capital city Muscat, police said.

On Tuesday, thundershowers in Dhahirah Governorate led to the deaths of two brothers, aged 14 and 16, who were swept away as they were crossing a wadi in Ibri district.

Parts of northern Oman were also pummeled by hailstones some as large as golf balls, said residents, as the Royal Oman Police issued fresh advisaries urging people to stay away from wadis, ponds and outdoor electrical installations. The Met Office too warned of more damp weather, primarily in the form of isolated thundershowers, during the weekend. Fishermen too have been advised not to venture out to sea.

Meanwhile, the head of Oman’s flagship refining company sought to allay concerns over fuel supplies over the weekend. In a statement to the official Oman News Agency (ONA), Musab Al Mahrouqi, CEO of Orpic, which operates the Sultanate’s two refineries in Muscat and Sohar, said the country was being well supplied despite the weather situation. He was apparently responding to a swirl of text messages advising motorists to top up their fuel tanks in anticipation of a supply crunch over the weekend.

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