oman flood
Videos of water gushing rapidly through the Muttrah Souq went viral within minutes. Image Credit: supplied

Muscat: Heavy rains and wind lashed the capital on February 13th night leaving several parts of highway under water. The main express way segment between Bowsher and Amerat, that is cut along the mountain slopes, came to a standstill as water thundered down the mountains onto the roads. The quick waterfalls on the mountains that come alive with rains, lasted for few hours, stopping the traffic. The rain also resulted in the death of an expatriate who was stranded in his car in Jibroo area. However, his death was due to asphyxiation.

Muttrah Souq, the first casualty of heavy rains in the capital, came under torrents of water with heavy rains that continued for a full night. Videos of water gushing rapidly through the souq went viral within minutes.

Aseem bhai, a shopkeeper who runs a stationary shop at the Greater Mutrah end of the souq, said his merchandise, which is mostly made of cardboard, was soaked beyond redemption. “I sell cardboard and paper boxes and gift wrappers, which are now unusable. Every time it rains, this is the fate we face. Fortunately, I had my shop insured after the experience of prolonged closure during COVID-19 peak time in 2020.”

The shops at the entrance of the souq, closer to corniche and the sea, were the ones to bear the brunt of the rain fury. Water flooded through the clothes’ shops that flank the entrance area, as well as the bukhoor shops, completely drenching the merchandise. Most of the shops were closed on Monday, and shop-owners at the clothes and trinkets shops, in an effort to offload the wares that will prove expensive to be retained, are selling it at throwaway prices.

With the tourist season riding high, several tour companies that had planned walking trips to Muttrah souq, which is a key attraction for tourists visiting Muscat, had to cancel the tour.