Oman, five die in cyclone Shaheen
Search for missing continues. Winds have reached 150 km/h and waves 10 meters high. Coastal areas evacuated, flights blocked at Mascate international airport. Two foreigners died after being swept away by a landslide. Maximum alert in the United Arab Emirates and in Saudi Arabia for winds and rains.
Mascate (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The provisional death toll caused by the overnight passage of tropical cyclone Shaheen in the Sultanate of Oman has risen to five. Rescuers have resumed the search for some Iranian sailors who are missing; the storm made landfall loosing intensity, although the alert remains high in other countries in the region.
The strong winds and heavy rains have flooded the roads and forced the inhabitants of the coastal areas to evacuate their homes in a hurry. Mascate International Airport has delayed, or cancelled, several flights throughout the day.
Oman authorities confirmed the discovery of the body of a man who disappeared when the sudden arrival of the waters swept him away from his car. Also yesterday, a child drowned while he was inside his car and two foreigners, of Asian origin, died in a landslide.
Most of the five million inhabitants live in the capital or in the surrounding areas; streets and roads in Mascate remain closed and transit is allowed only to emergency and rescue vehicles, in addition to vehicles used to transport humanitarian aid.
In Iran, state television said rescuers found the body of one of five missing fishermen off Pasabandar, a seafaring village near the border with Pakistan. Yesterday morning, Iranian Parliament deputy speaker Ali Nikzad stressed that the death toll could rise, with at least six people still missing. The cyclone touched down with winds of up to 150 km/h and waves up to 10 meters high.
Oman TV relayed images of flooded roads and valleys as the storm continued its inland course towards the United Arab Emirates (UAE), losing some of its initial intensity. In Dubai, home of Expo 2020, the attention of experts is maximum and the evolution of Shaheen is followed with great apprehension.
Attention to the maximum also in Saudi Arabia, with the local civil protection that has issued an alert for strong winds and possible flooding in different regions from today until October 8.