Muscat: Heavy rain lashed most parts of south and north Sharqiyah and Wusta governorates as tropical storm Ashobaa headed to Oman’s shores on Friday morning.
The cyclone was expected to make landfall later on Friday. Heavy rainfall is expected to hit Muscat, Dhaklyah, South Batinah, Wusta and Dhofar.
No causalities have been reported so far, an official at the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA), told Gulf News.
Many wadis in Sharqiyah flooded, causing traffic jams. The Royal Oman Police (ROP), closed some roads in the area.
“We don’t want road users to venture out and cross them”, an ROP official said.
More than 40 people were rescued due to flooding in Sur, Ras Al Had, Masirah, Ashkarah, Wadi Bani Khalid and Jalan. PACDA hasn’t yet reported any people missing.
Four Emiratis were among those rescued. Three were rescued when their vehicle was swept away by Wadi Bani Khalid on Thursday. Another ten-year-old Emirati boy was rescued while he was swimming in flood water near Wadi Bani Khalid on Friday morning. The official said they are all in a stable condition.
The Ministry of Social Development said that it provides shelters for those families in South and North Sharqiyah affected due to the cyclone.
Many areas in Sur and Masirah flooded, forcing people to move to allocated shelters provided by the Ministry of Social Development. Ministry officials told Gulf News that it provides all food and medical aid for nationals and residents using the shelters.
Some families refused to leave their flooded houses.
Many losses in properties have been reported in those areas but the financial toll hasn’t yet been announced by the Omani authorities.
Power outages have been reported in some areas of South Sharqiyah provinces, lasting for more than seven hours so far due to the storm.
Some electricity poles were knocked down due to the strong winds, while other poles caught fire, a PACDA official said.
Masirah Island received more than 250mm of rainfall. Ras Al Had recorded 55mm, while Sur has recorded 48mm so far, according to the Directorate General of Meteorology.
Omanis have launched a hashtag in Arabic “Salute to the soldiers of Oman”, lauding the efforts of all Royal Armed Forces, PACDA and the Royal Oman Police, for their stupendous efforts in the rescue operations.
23 schools have been allocated as shelters in South and North Sharqiaha governorate, due to the weather conditions.
The Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) issued a statement warning all suppliers and shop owners that it will not tolerate price increases due to the cyclone.
It added that it will intensify its inspections to make sure the price of food is not increased.
Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industry (ORPIC) assured people that there was enough fuel reserves in petrol stations nationwide.
70 people were killed in two major cyclones which hit Oman, Cyclone Gonu in June 2007 and Phet in June 2010.
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