Storm gains speed as it bears down on Salalah

Storm gains speed as it bears down on Salalah

Muscat - According to the PACA Oman's 'Warning' 1 alert, the eye of the cyclone is now located 400km away from Salalah city.



By Shivank Saran

Published: Sat 26 May 2018, 12:00 AM

The capital city of Oman's southern province, Salalah, is bracing for one of the strongest tropical cyclones in recent times which is expected to make landfall on Friday morning.
It's raining intermittently in Salalah and adjoining areas and government agencies are regularly sending alerts and safety advisories to people through television, radio, mobile SMS and social media. The province is on high alert and the mobilisation of disaster management tools have begun. Senior officials of Dhofar Governorate held several rounds of meetings and many government schools have been converted into shelters fitted with healthcare and other basic amenities.
Oman's Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) has issued 'Warning 1' and said that the tropical cyclone, which is graded 'Category 1', may turn into 'Category 2' within the next 12 hours. The forecast suggests "continuous heavy rainfall" with high velocity winds.
According to the PACA Oman's 'Warning' 1 alert, the eye of the cyclone is now located 400km away from Salalah city.
The alert said the wind speed near the eye of the storm is 70 to 80 knots (126-144 km/hour). The forecast suggests rough seas with waves touching 5 to 8 metres in Dhofar and Al Wusta regions.
In its tropical cyclone advisory, the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for Tropical Cyclones, New Delhi, said the "very severe cyclonic storm over West-central and adjoining South-west Arabian Sea moved further North-northwestwards and lay centred at West-central and adjoining South-west Arabian Sea about 190km East-northeast of Socotra Islands and 390km
South-southeast of Salalah."
"It is very likely to intensify further into an extremely severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours. It will move nearly Northwards during the next 24 hours and then move North-westwards and cross the South of Oman and South-east Yemen coasts as an extremely severe cyclonic storm with wind speed sof 160-170 kmph gusting to 190 kmph between 53 degrees East and 55 degrees East close to Salalah on the morning of May 26.
Being a weekend, offices and educational institutions are closed on Friday and Saturday, but as a precautionary measure some community schools chose to close on Thursday and rescheduled examinations to other dates.
As a precautionary measure, the Salalah-based Sultan Qaboos Hospital decided to relocate serious patients either to Muscat or to the Armed Forces Hospital in Salalah. All in-patients of the Sultan Qaboos Hospital have been evacuated. Critical cases along with other patients with renal dialysis have been moved to Muscat.
Oman's Public Authority for Civil Aviation also issued a statement indicating that due to the severity of the weather conditions, Salalah International Airport would be closed for 24 hours, starting from 12am on Friday. 


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