MUSCAT: Authorities said tropical Cyclone Shaheen wreaked havoc on areas of Oman’s and Iran’s shores on Sunday, killing at least nine people.
Officials in Oman claimed two individuals perished in a landslide and a toddler died in flash flooding.
The bodies of two Asian workers were pulled from their residence in the Rusayl industrial district of Muscat province after a landslide, according to Oman’s National Committee for Emergency Management (NCEM).
In flash floods in the province of the capital, a child died and another person was reported missing, according to the report.
Wind speeds of 120 kilometers per hour were recorded over Oman’s north coast, causing flights to be cancelled or delayed.
According to the NCEM, Shaheen was eventually reduced to a tropical storm.
Vehicles were tyre-deep in water in Muscat’s capital, while streets were left semi-deserted.
Six persons were murdered in Iran’s Chabahar port in the southeastern region of Sistan-Baluchestan, according to the parliament’s news agency ICANA, citing deputy speaker Ali Nikzad.
Provincial governor Hossein Modarres-Khiabani told Iran’s official IRNA news agency that “infrastructure, including electrical facilities and highways, was devastated.”
According to him, the storm’s eye was 220 kilometers (130 miles) off the province’s coast.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has also been placed on “high alert,” according to emergency services.
As a precaution, some flights to and from Muscat International Airport were cancelled, and residents were advised to stay away from low-lying areas and valleys. On Sunday and Monday, Oman announced a two-day national holiday and closed schools, according to the official Oman News Agency.
High Alert in UAE
Northern Oman was battered by severe rainfall, hail, and strong winds in July.
Cyclone Mekunu struck southern Oman and the Yemeni island of Socotra in May 2018, killing at least 11 people.
After a Covid-imposed lockdown, Oman, a country of 4.6 million people, reopened its doors to foreign tourists last month. Since 2014, the Gulf country has been heavily struck by the drop-in world crude prices and the coronavirus outbreak, which is famed for its rich heritage, scenic coastline, and stunning topography.
Tourism had been expected to help the sultanate’s ailing economy. The UAE was also bracing for the storm, with emergency officials advising residents to stay away from beaches and low-lying areas.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said, “We would want to inform everyone that the concerned authorities are on high alert and prepared to deal with any upcoming tropical scenario.”
In Al-Ain, on the outskirts of Oman, all building activity was halted, and students were instructed to study remotely on Monday and Tuesday.