REG Oman clear skies-1633343339254
Clear skies in Muscat after teh cyclone. Image Credit: Supplied

Muscat: Seven new deaths were recorded in Oman as a result of Cyclone Shaheen, and there were reports of people missing in North Al Batinah Governorate. This takes the total official death toll to 11.

Oman has downgraded Tropical Cyclone Shaheen to a tropical depression, which is currently lingering over Ibri, Yanqul and Dhank towns of Al Dhahira region in the Sultanate. Shaheen made a landfall in Musannah and Suwaiq at around 8pm on October 3.

As per the recent weather warnings issued by Oman’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the latest images and weather chart analysis at the National Multi-Hazard Early Warning Centre show the tropical storm has been downgraded to tropical depression and is currently located over Al Dhahira region.

“The impact of the tropical system will continue over Al Dhahira, North and South Batinah (Sohar Shinas, Khaboura, Saham, Suwaiq and Liwa, Rustaq, Nakhal, Barkha, Musannah) Buraimi and Dakhliya regions (Nizwa, Samail, Bahla, Adam, Hamra, Izki, Manah, Bidbid) with a chance of heavy rainfall of 70mm to 200mm causing flash floods. Moderate winds of 15 to 25 knots will prevail with strong gusts. Rain will continue over Muscat, North and South Sharqiya (Mudhaibi, Bidiya, Ibra, Sur, Al Khamil, Jalan Bani Bu Ali and Hassan and Masirah) and Musandam areas. Sea conditions are expected to moderate over the coastal areas.”

Capital back to business

The Muscat region is back to business with the sun finally coming out after a cloudy morning till 10am on October 4. Water in most of the wadis has receded, though fallen trees and debris piled up on roads and lanes are still being moved. Government and private offices will resume work tomorrow after the government declared an official two days’ holiday on Sunday and Monday due to the cyclone.

The water-clogging in low-lying roads at some places on the highway, nearer to flyovers, is also being cleared by workers from Muscat Municipality and other authorities concerned. Power outage has been rectified and restored in almost all the areas in the capital.

Muscat town and Muttrah Souq reopen

Muttrah Souq merchants are back in their shops and tills, clearing and cleaning before spreading their wares for sale. The cornich area, which was closed due to water flooding into the thoroughfare after the barricade broke off at certain places is also now open, but with heavy police patrolling. Muscat town area, including the Muttrah souq and its near-about places were one of the worst hit in the capital region due to tropical cyclone Shaheen.

Heavy rainfall recorded in affected areas

Dr Saeed bin Hamad Al Sarmi, from the Civil Aviation Authority, in a statement to Oman News Agency called on citizens and residents to take utmost care and caution, even though the cyclone has moved away. He said there are chances of rain in the affected governorates, and the weather will remain unpredictable.

The highest amounts of rain recorded so far was in the governorate of Suwaiq with 290.8 mm rainfall, followed by Al Khaboura, which recorded 167.9 mm, with a number of other states being hit by heavy rainfall. The Muscat region received 150 mm rainfall, over October 2 and 3.

Rescue operations

A warning has been issued to residents staying close Al Khoudh dam as the water started seeping outside to nearby low-lying areas. Traffic was reported to be interrupted in some locations of the Al Batinah Highway. Authorities have advised people to use Muscat Expressway for transportation in emergency cases.

Operations are in full swing to rescue people trapped in Wadi Al Batha in the Wilayat of Suwaiq. Wadis overflowing into nearby roads were reported in Wadi Bani Hani in the Wilayat of Rustaq and Wadi Andam in Sinaw this morning.

On October 3, search and rescue teams pulled out the bodies of two expatriate workers from the rubble of a collapsed accommodation. Another person was found dead in his car near Rustaq. A child was also reported to have drowned in Amerat region on October 2 in the flooded waters caused by the rains.

Normal flight operations resume

All major airlines that had rescheduled or cancelled some of their flights to and from Muscat International Airport are back to their normal flying schedule. Many airlines were reported to be skirting the flight path above Sea of Oman on October 3 to avoid the tropical situation in Muscat.