Cyclone Mekunu lashes Oman, Yemen; 5 dead

Glen Norman
May 28, 2018

It is expected to hit parts of the Empty Quarter, one of the world's most arid deserts, later Saturday, it said. The girl died after she was swept against the walls by the wind whereas the other got washed away in a auto.

More than 30 people were still missing on the Yemeni island of Socotra, including Yemeni, Indian and Sudanese nationals.

Salalah and the surrounding area received almost 278mm of rain, almost three times its annual amount.

The cyclone made landfall in Oman early Saturday, killing four people in the country's third largest city, Salalah.

Oman's meteorology directorate announced late Saturday that the Cyclone Mekunu has now been downgraded to the category of "deep depression".

According to AFP, Socotra's governor Ramzy Mahrous said today that the death toll on the island remained seven - five Yemenis and two Indian sailors.

Fast-moving waters from the rain and storm surge flooded normally dry creek beds.

The Yemeni high relief agency met with worldwide humanitarian organizations in Aden late Thursday to discuss the situation, the country's Saba news agency reported.

The Saudi meteorological authority said on Twitter Sunday that winds blew at 60 kilometers (over 35 miles) per hour, kicking up blinding dust storms.

Oman's Public Authority for Civil Aviation stated that the nation's Marmul Airport will reopen Sunday after being closed since Thursday, as officials assess widespread damage in the country. Over 230 families in Oman have been relocated to better buildings.

The situation is similar in Yemen - the wind damaged homes, communication lines and power lines. Some humanitarian aid from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates arrived on the island just hours after the cyclone receded. "You try to watch from the window and you can't". At one luxury hotel, which already had evacuated its guests, workers sat down early for a traditional sahur, a meal Muslims eat before sunrise during the holy month of Ramadhan.

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