Death toll rises to 21 as search, rescue operations continue after rains, flooding in Oman

Following torrential rains on Sunday and subsequent flooding, the Royal Oman Police promptly responded to distress calls, rescuing trapped school students, families, and motorists


Ajanta Paul

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Oman's Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority
Oman's Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority

Published: Mon 15 Apr 2024, 11:32 AM

Last updated: Sun 21 Apr 2024, 11:46 AM

[Editor's note: The story has been update with the latest number of deaths announced by Oman Police.]

Search and rescue teams in Oman have located the body of a missing female citizen in the Al Sharaikha area of the Mahout district, along with an Asian resident in Saham. The death toll from the adverse weather conditions has now reached 21, with efforts ongoing to locate two remaining missing individuals.

As heavy rains continued to lash Oman on Monday, April 15, the Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority (CDAA) recovered the body of an individual who had gone missing in North Al Sharqiyah Governorate. This brings the death toll from the inclement weather conditions to thirteen.

CDAA said in a statement: "As part of the efforts of the search teams of the Civil Defence and Ambulance Department in North Al Sharqiyah Governorate, and with the support of other parties and citizens, a missing person was found dead. Search efforts are still ongoing for three other people, including a child."

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Oman's Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority conducting search and rescue operations
Oman's Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority conducting search and rescue operations

At least 12 people have died after their vehicles drifted away in flood waters in Oman on Sunday. The dead include nine students, two residents and an expatriate, according to the National Committee for Emergency Management.

After torrential rains lashed the country, various parts of Oman experienced severe flooding. The Royal Oman Police promptly responded to rescue school students trapped in buses, families stranded inside flooded houses, and motorists swept away in their vehicles by strong water currents.

Field teams of the Royal Oman Police, the Royal Army of Oman, the Civil Defence Authority and the ambulance moved students from the school to a safer place. Residents also pitched in to move stranded people in their vehicles.

The aviation team of the Police also carried out an operation to transport 21 people from a farm area to the Al Lasmo area in the Quriyat Governorate, as they could not reach their homes due to the valleys.

On Monday, April 15, schools and colleges in Oman have been instructed to transition to distance learning mode. The directive came from the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research, and Innovation on Sunday.

Business owners have been urged to stay informed by monitoring weather bulletins to safeguard the safety of their staff members.

According to the Met Department in Oman, the governorates of South Al Sharqiyah, North Al Sharqiyah, Al Dakhiliyah, and parts of Al Dhahirah and Al Wusta are currently experiencing rain of varying intensity. This rainfall is accompanied by active winds and occasional hail.

Oman's National Committee for Emergency Management is closely monitoring the alerts issued by the National Centre for Early Multi-Hazard Warning regarding the developments of the weather condition.

Due to the high level of expected rains, the Committee has activated the National Emergency Situations Management, as well as all sectors, sub-committees in the Governorates expected to be impacted to elevate preparedness and readiness levels in order to mitigate the impacts of the situation and respond to different reports.

Citizens and residents are requested not to risk crossing the valleys, as it is often difficult to estimate the water level or the strength of its flow.

The UAE will also witness unstable weather conditions with chances of hailstorm, lightning and thunder over some areas. Heavy rains are expected to cause flooding, while strong winds will reduce horizontal visibility as unstable weather conditions persist.


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