Gulf | Oman

Tsunami rumours send residents into a tizzy

Rumours of an approaching tsunami swept through Muscat yesterday, spreading panic among residents of the sultanate. But scientists dismissed the fears as unfounded.

  • By Sunil K. Vaidya, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 00:00 May 7, 2007
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archive
  • The Mirani is one of over five hundred Portoguese forts in Muscat. Rumours of approachingt tsunami spread panic among residents in Oman.

Muscat: Rumours of an approaching tsunami swept through Muscat yesterday, spreading panic among residents of the sultanate. But scientists dismissed the fears as unfounded.

The rumours of a tsunami set to hit Qurum beach today or Wednesday were first heard yesterday afternoon. By evening they had spread like wildfire. Phone lines in the Omani capital were jammed with worried residents trying to find out the truth.

"An Omani came to our shop and said he had heard about a tsunami approaching Oman," Dilesh Ramayiah, a hardware merchant in Muscat, told Gulf News. His customer also told him strong winds would precede the tsunami.

Some residents said the rumours started from the website of a local Arabic newspaper while some others said a Pakistani dreamt of a tsunami hitting Muscat.

A posting on a local website, Oman Forum, said an Indian priest went to Royal Oman Police and urged them to vacate Qurum because it would be flooded by sea water.

Scientists rubbished the rumours and called it a figment of imagination.

"It is rubbish and there is no scientific evidence to support the rumour," Dr Barry Jupp, Oman's senior marine scientist told Gulf News.

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