Cyclone Mekunu to be 'extremely severe' on landfall in Oman

Cyclone Mekunu to be 'extremely severe' on landfall in Oman

The Directorate General of Meteorology in Oman have said that Mekunu is now a Category 2 cyclone with winds around 90knots /100mph and gusts of 110knots /127mph and its likely to make landfall near that strength.

Omanis take pictures on the beach as high waves break along the shore in the southern city of Salalah on Thursday, but meteorologists are warning that Cyclone Mekunu could leave a significant impact on the area.

Dozens of vehicles were seen submerged in several areas. However, that cyclone was categorized as a Category 1 hurricane, meaning it only had winds of up to 95 miles per hour.

Mekunu was expected to weaken to a tropical storm before reaching southeastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday, according to the Kingdom's meteorological authority.

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

Thousands of residents near coastal areas in Dhofar and al-Wusta had been moved to shelters as 170km/h (105mph) winds and torrential rain hammered the region, officials said.

Civil defence authorities said they had set up 65 shelter centres in the two affected provinces.

The Royal Oman Police later said on Twitter that a 12-year-old girl died after winds from the cyclone caused her to collide with a wall.?

Authorities have urged residents to stay indoors. Many holidaymakers fled the storm on Thursday night before Salalah International Airport closed.

Workers take a rest in a school turned into a shelter in Salalah Oman
Workers take a rest in a school turned into a shelter in Salalah Oman

Yemeni officials said at least 40 people - including Yemeni, Indian and Sudanese citizens - were missing on Socotra. Twelve Indians were still missing, he said.

Fisheries minister Fahad Kafin told AFP news agency the bodies of five Yemenis and two Indians had been recovered.

Later, Socotro governor Ramzy Mahrous told Saba news agency that four sailors who were missing were found alive on Friday.

He said some 150 families had been trapped in their homes by floods before being evacuated to government facilities.

Yemen's self-exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi issued a statement ordering troops under his command on the island to help citizens, deliver supplies and reopen roads.

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.

The Emirati presence on the island began in 2015 as a relief effort after a similar cyclone hit Socotra.

The Yemeni high relief agency met with worldwide humanitarian organisations in Aden late on Thursday to discuss the situation, the Saba news agency reported.

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