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Ferocious winds, heavy rain as Cyclone Shaheen hits Oman

Up to 500cm of rain was expected in some areas, Omani Authorities.

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According to Reuters, Tropical Cyclone Shaheen slammed into Oman on Sunday with ferocious winds and heavy rain, flooding streets, prompting evacuations from coastal areas, and delaying flights to and from the capital, Muscat.

The death toll from the cyclone rose to five on Monday while other fishermen from Iran remained missing as the storm moved further inland into Oman and weakened.

Photo Courtesy: Reuters

Authorities in Oman said they found the body of a man who disappeared when floodwaters swept him away from his vehicle. On Sunday, as the storm made landfall, they said a child similarly drowned and two people died in a landslide.

When its eye crossed land, the cyclone was carrying winds of between 120 and 150 km/h (75 to 93 mph), Omani authorities said. It was throwing up waves of up to 10 meters (32 feet). Up to 500cm (20 inches) of rain was expected in some areas, raising the risk of flash floods.

Photo Courtesy: Reuters

Cyclones steadily lose their power over land and Shaheen was downgraded to a tropical storm after it cleared the ocean, the meteorology service said on Twitter.

The national emergency committee said the power supply would be cut in al-Qurm, east of the capital, to avoid accidents. Aid agencies transferred more than 2,700 people to emergency shelters. Authorities said roads in the capital would be open only to vehicles on emergency and humanitarian work until the storm dies down.

Photo Courtesy: Reuters

In Iran, state television said rescuers found the body of one of five fishermen who went missing off Pasabandar, a fishing village near the border with Pakistan.

Omani state television broadcast images of flooded roadways and valleys as the storm churned deeper into the sultanate, its outer edges reaching the neighboring United Arab Emirates which has issued warnings to residents that the storm was coming.

Photo Courtesy: AFP

Police in the United Arab Emirates were patrolling near beaches and valleys where torrential rains were expected to ensure the residents’ safety.

Government and private-sector employees in al-Ain, on the border with Oman, were urged to work remotely on Monday and authorities called on residents to avoid leaving home except for emergencies, the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said.

 “Authorities are working proactively around the clock to evaluate residential units in expected affected areas and transport families to safe locations until it is safe to return,” it said.

Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defence authorities called for caution in several regions from Monday to Friday in expectation of high winds and possible flooding, the state news agency reported.

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