Cyclone Mekunu likely to hit Salalah on Saturday - Oman


According to Tropical Storm Risk centre warning issued on Saturday 0:00 GMT, severe cyclonic storm Mekunu was located near 17.1 N 53.4 E with maximum 1-min sustained winds of 85 kts (98 mph).

After rain and wind blew through Hubballi, the entire roof of a building in Udyama Nagara there which houses Venkateshwara Steels and George Oakes, flew away.

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

The UAE forces left Socotra under the agreement between Abu Dhabi and Saudi-backed former Yemeni government, Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said. "We do not see the system losing its strength any time before May 25-26, till the time it makes the landfall".

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The Royal Oman Police said that a 12-year-old girl was killed when the storm threw a door into her head.

An Asian laborer died in a flooded valley and an Omani national in a 4x4 died when his vehicle was swept away, al-Shanfari said.

Tourists rushed to catch the last flights out before Salalah International Airport closed at midnight Thursday for the storm, where sandbags already stacked against some doors.

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

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Socrotra is now embroiled in another kind of storm, as tensions between the Yemeni government and the United Arab Emirates over the presence of Emirati troops on the island recently reached a head.

Civil defence authorities said they had evacuated 10,000 people to shelters, mainly inside Salalah which has a population of more than 200,000. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

The island, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, has been the focus of a dispute between the UAE and Yemen's internationally recognized government amid that country's war after Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, seized the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

Socotra has a unique ecosystem and is home to plants, snails and reptiles that can be found nowhere else.

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Meanwhile, refuting rumours on social media, a senior official from the PACA, has said that it is unlikely that there will be a second cyclone following Mekunu. "You can't even go outside". However, the Port of Salalah remained closed Saturday.