Muscat: Oman has announced a two-day holiday for both public and private sectors on October 3 & 4 as the sultanate braces for cyclone Shaheen.
All schools in the sultanate, except in governorates of Dhofar and Al Wusta, will also be closed These two regions are not directly impacted by the tropical cyclone.
Meanwhile, the National Transport Company Mwasalat has suspended all its bus and ferry services across all governorates, starting from October 3.
“Mwasalat suspends its Buses and Ferries services in all governorates of the sultanate, starting from Sunday, October 3, 2021,” Mwasalat said in a statement.
However, Mwasalat said city services will continue in Salalah and ferry service for Shannah-Masirah route.
The announcements come close on the heels of the warning issued by Oman about the impending tropical cyclone Shaheen, which is being closely monitored,
The National Multi-Hazard Early Warning Centre at Oman’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that the latest satellite images and analysis indicate that Shaheen is currently continues its movement towards the coast of the Sultanate overlooking the Sea of Oman. With a wind speed of 116 to 150 km per hour, the eye of the cyclone is currently 320km away from the Muscat governorate.
The capital city wore a cloudy look since morning. The strong winds were cool, and the sea seemed rough with waves crashing rapidly to the shore. The Royal Oman Police have warned the general public to exercise caution and has advised not to venture to beaches and sea shores as the sea turns rough and choppy.
The direct effects will begin from October 3 morning. High speed winds of 30 to 60 knots are expected so also very heavy thunderstorms. The wadis and low lying areas are likely to get filled with rain water, leading to flooding of the areas around it. Waves will rise to 3 to 5 metres in the sea of Oman flanking the capital area.
State apparatus on high alert
Meanwhile, the National Committee for Emergency Management (NCEM), Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority and state’s apparatus are on high alert, with teams mobilised and stationed at various flash points.
The NCEM said that it has issued a circular to government institutions on emergency protocols and also how to deal with information and communications technology devices linked to the government network.
The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology has activated the emergency plan for the road sector in the governorates likely to be affected by the cyclone.
The Muscat Call Centre will work round the clock in order to receive complaints or calls for assistance on the number 1111.
The Royal Oman Police are already stationed across various check points in the capital, regulating the traffic as well as turning back those planning on adventures during rains.
Hypermarkets inside mega complexes like Avenues Mall, Mall of Oman, Muscat Grand Mall, Muscat City Centre, Qurum City Centre as well as super markets were filled to brim with shoppers hoarding essential items like fresh milk, milk powder, bread, egg and other minor grocery items.
A floor manager at Lulu Hypermarket in Ghala said that the outlet has been buzzing with people since the opening hours as public were keen to stock essential items, fearing a shortage due to floods and storm.