Seven more killed in Oman following tropical storm Shaheen

Tropical Cyclone Shaheen was downgraded to a tropical storm after it made landfall in Oman, but authorities in Gulf states urged caution, expecting heavy winds and flooding.

Strong waves hit the shore as Cyclone Shaheen makes landfall in Muscat Oman, October 2, 2021. (photo credit: SULTAN AL HASANI/REUTERS)
Strong waves hit the shore as Cyclone Shaheen makes landfall in Muscat Oman, October 2, 2021.
(photo credit: SULTAN AL HASANI/REUTERS)

Seven more people were killed in Oman as heavy winds and rain swept through the country after tropical storm Shaheen made landfall, the national emergency committee said on Monday on its official Twitter account.

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

When its eye crossed land, the cyclone was carrying winds of between 120 and 150 km per hour (75-93 mph), Omani authorities said. It was throwing up waves of up to 10 meters (32 feet).

Video footage from local broadcasters showed vehicles submerged as people tried to make their way through muddy brown floodwater.

Part of the eyewall of the storm, where the most severe weather occurs, had entered Al Batinah South governorate, the state news agency said. The eye also entered between the states of Musanah and Suwaiq.

Parking of Al Qurum Complex is flooded as Cyclone Shaheen makes the landfall Muscat Oman, October 3, 2021. (credit: OMAN NEWS AGENCY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)Parking of Al Qurum Complex is flooded as Cyclone Shaheen makes the landfall Muscat Oman, October 3, 2021. (credit: OMAN NEWS AGENCY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Massive rainfall of as much as 500 cm (20 inches) was expected in some areas, potentially causing flash floods.

Cyclones steadily lose their power once they stop traveling over ocean waters and Shaheen was downgraded to a tropical storm after it had hit land, the local meteorology service said in a tweet.

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

In the United Arab Emirates, authorities said precautionary measures were being taken. Police officials were moving to ensure safety by conducting security patrols near beaches and valleys where torrential rains were expected.

Saudi Arabia's civil defense authorities called for caution in several regions from Monday to Friday in expectation of heavy winds and possible flooding, the state news agency reported.