Yemen said that of those missing, 8 were Indian sailors who were at the island's port when the cyclone struck.

Two Indians killed 8 missing as cyclone Mekunu devastates Yemens Socotra
news Cyclone Mekunu Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 20:11

Two Indians and five Yemenis were killed as cyclone Mekunu hit Yemen’s Socotra island, Yemen's fisheries minister Fahad Kafin said.

Four Indian sailors who had been declared missing were found alive by rescue teams. 

The search is ongoing for eight Indian sailors who went missing when the cyclone hit Socotra's port.

The eye of category 2 severe cyclone Mekunu also passed Salalah in Oman, which is home to 80,000 Indians, yesterday late night causing heavy damage to properties.

On Friday, a 12-year-old girl succumbed to injuries after a gust of wind knocked her against a wall in Ayn Sahalnoot, Salalah, amid heavy rains before cyclone Mekunu made landfall in Salalah.

Royal Oman Police (ROP) informed that an Omani lost his life after his vehicle was washed away in Awqad.

Even as Oman’s meteorological department has downgraded the strength of Mekunu cyclone to deep depression in its latest circular, the government has urged everyone to remain safe as violent winds may continue to hit the region. 

Oman’s warning No 9 from the National Multi Hazard & Early Warning Center issued at 12 pm today (Saturday) said the tropical cyclone Mekunu has weakened to a deep depression but heavy thundershowers accompanied by strong winds will continue over Dhofar and Al Wusta governorates.

The circular added that sea state will be rough in Dhofar and Al Wusta with a wave height of 4 to 8 meters while in the South Sharqiyah it will touch around 3 metres.

The Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) has urged people to take caution and not to risk crossing the valleys and moving away from low-lying places.

Meanwhile, considering the situation, based on the directions from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said due to climate conditions, the Ministry of Manpower has declared holidays on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for both public and private sectors in the Dhofar Governorate.

The notice from the ministry added that employers and their employees are entitled to agree on compensation if it is necessary to work in the basic sectors that offer essential services to the public.

According to Tropical Storm Risk centre warning issued on Saturday 0:00 GMT, severe cyclonic storm Mekunu was located near 17.1 N 53.4 E with maximum 1-min sustained winds of 85 kts (98 mph). 

TSR in its report has still maintained the Red Alert for Oman and Salalah with Cat 1 probability.

Meanwhile, Bader Al Baddei, the administrator of web-based forum (www.rathth.net) that discusses weather in Oman, told The News Minute the situation is quite bad in Salalah. 

“The property damage is huge. It may take weeks to recover. The cyclone was severe on Friday night. Now, the situation is a little better,” Al Baddei said adding that the tropical storm continues to move north towards the deserts of the Dhofar Governorate.

Meanwhile, refuting rumours on social media, a senior official from the PACA, has said that it is unlikely that there will be a second cyclone following Mekunu.

Indian consular agent Manpreet Singh said that the government’s preparations saved hundreds of lives.

 “The police and rescue team were well prepared. So, we could avoid loss of life. We all salute the Oman government,” Singh told TNM.

India too has deployed two ships, INS Deepak and INS Kochi from Mumbai on Friday as first responders to the crisis in Salalah, Oman.

The ships have helicopters on board for rescue of personnel.

There are around 460,000 people living in Salalah, including 80,000 Indians. 

 

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