3 killed, flights delayed as cyclone hits Oman


Tropical Cyclone Shaheen bore down on Oman on Sunday, killing at least three people, as authorities urged residents to evacuate coastal areas and delayed flights to and from the capital, Muscat.

A child who had been swept away by water was found dead, the state news agency said, and another person was missing. Two workers were killed when a hill collapsed on their housing area in an industrial zone as a result of the cyclone, the state news agency reported.

The eye of the storm was carrying top winds of 120 kilometers per hour or more as it churned about 60 km from Muscat, a joint statement by the country’s hazard, weather and civil aviation agencies said.

The storm’s centre was expected to hit land during the late afternoon and evening, bringing very high winds and heavy rainfall, but the outer bands of the system earlier made landfall in the sultanate, which sits on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula.

Cars are seen abandoned on a flooded street in Muscat, Oman, on Sunday. (Sultan Al Hassani/Reuters)

The national emergency committee said the power supply would be cut in al-Qurm, east of the capital, to avoid accidents.

More than 2,700 people were put up in emergency shelters.

Most of the oil-exporting country’s five million people live in and around Muscat.

Rain from Cyclone Shaheen caused flash flooding in Oman. This image shows the flooding in the capital, Muscat. (Mohammed Mahjoub/AFP/Getty Images)

Roads in the capital would be open only to vehicles on emergency and humanitarian journeys until the storm dies down, authorities said.

The neighbouring United Arab Emirates also warned those on its eastern reaches to be prepared for the storm.

Floodwaters inundated roads in Muscat. (Sultan Al Hassani/Reuters)

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