Muscat: Hailstorm and heavy rains in some parts of the country brought the temperature down to 16 degree Celsius yesterday in Oman.

The rains badly affected northern suburbs of Muscat, flooding even the Muscat International Airport parking area.

According to a Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulances (PACDA) post on Facebook, the PACDA teams rescued a group of pupils stranded in flood waters near the College of Tourism in the newly developed Airport Heights area in Seeb district. The PACDA announcement on Facebook also said that rocks came down crashing from mountains and blocked one lane on the Khasab-Bukha road in Musandam region in central Oman. The Musandam region also received heavy rains.

Oman Weather Updates (OWU), an independent group on Facebook that spreads awareness about Oman’s climatic conditions reported that roads were also blocked on Baushar and Amarat areas after rocks fell on roads from nearby mountains.

An OWU spokesperson told Gulf News that they share only official news from Oman Meteorological Department by translating it from Arabic to English. The rains started from early hours yesterday and continued till late afternoon. The Amarat suburb on the eastern side of Muscat recorded 70 mm rainfall while Seeb received 60 mm rainfall, according to Oman Weather Updates.

The Baushar and Ansab districts in Muscat received 50 mm rains while Ghubra recorded 45 mm rains. According to various reports on social media, a hailstorm fell on the northern town of Barka. A post, with a photograph, on micro-blogging website Twitter also reported that a road was broken on the Central Corridor of the Muscat Expressway near Baushar. The Traffic Police Department, through social media and SMS, urged residents to be cautious and avoid driving through flooded wadis. The Met office has also forecast a thunderstorm. “The traffic is crawling even on Muscat Expressway,” Ashok Suvarna, an advertising industry executive and a long-time Muscat resident said. He told Gulf News that the roads to Seeb were blocked from all sides as streets were flooded. Some schools, especially in northern suburbs of Muscat, closed for the day due to heavy rains. Most wadis were flooded in and around Muscat as well as in the Batinah Region in the north. So far no untoward incident was reported as authorities kept urging resident to observe caution.