Oman prepares for the worst, as Cyclone Mekunu intensifies


The cyclone also killed at least seven people in the Yemeni island of Socotra while at least 40 people went missing.

Konkan region of Maharashtra would get a few showers in the next few days.

"Latest observations show that the centre of the cyclone hit the coast of Dhofar province", west of Salalah, the main city in the province, the directorate said in its latest warning. He acknowledged being a bit scared of the storm but said: "Inshallah, we are safe here".

The maximum temperature in Chandrapur district in Vidarbha had touched 45.5 degrees celsius, highest in the state on Wednesday.

Without a heat source from tropical waters, Mekunu will virtually vanish as it makes its way inland, Al Ebri said, noting that outer bands of rain will bring "normal" precipitation to the UAE.

Five Yemenis and two Indian sailors were confirmed dead when Mekunu hit Yemen's Socotra island on Thursday, causing heavy damage, Yemen's fisheries minister Fahad Kafin said. "Now, the situation is a little better", Al Baddei said adding that the tropical storm continues to move north towards the deserts of the Dhofar Governorate.

The meeting also discussed measures to provide aid to residents of three provinces in southeast Yemen expected to be hit by the cyclone.

Cyclone tears through Yemeni island Socotra
Extremely Severe Cyclone Mekunu heads for Oman and Yemen - Blog by Jo Farrow

Salalah and the surrounding area received almost 11in (278mm) of rain, almost three times its annual amount.

Flash floods engulfed Socotra streets, cutting electricity and communication lines, they said.

Yemen declared a state of emergency on Thursday for Socotra, which lies between southern Yemen and the Horn of Africa and is renowned for its unique animal and plant life.

A cyclone is the same as a hurricane or a typhoon; their names only change because of their location.

Extremely severe cyclone MEKUNU has been travelling N/NW towards Oman and Yemen. Over a roughly 100-year period ending in 1996, only 17 recorded cyclones struck the sultanate on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula.

In 2007, Cyclone Gonu tore through Oman, killing at least 49 people and causing damage estimated at $3.9 billion.

In a statement on Sunday, May 27, the DFA said Cyclone Mekunu "dumped the equivalent of two years worth of rain in a single day", quoting Philippine Ambassador to Oman Narciso Castañeda.

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