Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023
Cyclone Mekunu batters Dhofar; leaves four dead, three missing

Cyclone Mekunu batters Dhofar leaves 4 dead, 3 missing

The cyclone passed on Salalah turning into a depression by Saturday evening but not just before leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

Large scale infrastructure harm was reported from across Dhofar. On Saturday, numerous government agencies sprung into action to begin clean-up and road repair functions all through the governorate.

In its forecast on Saturday, the National Multi Hazard Early Warning Centre mentioned that the intensity of the cyclone has lowered from deep to tropical depression. This will nonetheless lead to isolated rains and occasional thundershowers more than Dhofar and Al Wusta related with fresh winds.

Sea state will continue to be rough along Dhofar and Al Wusta coasts with maximum wave height from three-6m. Along the South Sharqiyah coasts, the sea state will be rough with maximum wave height from two-3m.

Lt Col Faisal bin Salem al Hajri, executive director, National Committee for Civil Defence, mentioned that 3 Asians are missing and searches are on to locate them. He stressed that the committee has not received any other report regarding death or missing so far.

Lt Col Hajri mentioned that heavy rainfall led to flooding in several places in Dhofar. “The rains led to flooding of wadis and filling of dams in Shalnout and Shakhu.”

He mentioned that there was some harm to the road major to the Port of Salalah and function was ongoing to repair it. The Mirbat-Sadah road, Darbat (old bridge), roads to Raysut and Mughsail have been also broken.

In a statement, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) mentioned, the Hasik-Shuwaymiyah road also has been broken. “We will evaluate and undertake the required maintenance works after the current weather condition improves,” MoTC stated. “The road is closed due to landslides and the falling of boulders.”

According to rainfall monitoring stations of the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, from Friday to Saturday, the highest rainfall was recorded in Salalah (505mm), although it was 250mm in Taqah, 213mm in Mirbat, 192mm in Rakhyout, 157mm in Thumrait, 91mm in Al Mazyouna, 61mm in Shaleem and 28mm in Halaniyat Islands.

According to the UK government’s Met workplace, the historical record reveals that robust cyclones more than component of the peninsula (close to Salalah) are comparatively uncommon. “The most recent strong cyclones to make landfall close to the city of Salalah occurred in 1963 and 1959. The former produced over 200mm rain and caused severe sandstorms. The latter caused flooding and severe damage to buildings.”

Cyclones of the strength of Mekunu have produced landfall more than the Arabian Peninsula in the current previous. In 2015, Cyclone Chapala brought flash flooding as it came ashore more than Yemen. Cyclone Phet brought robust winds and heavy rain to northern Oman when it produced landfall in 2010. The strongest cyclone on record to make landfall more than the Arabian Peninsula was Gonu in 2007.

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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