Oman residents flee as major cyclone approaches

More people have fled their homes in Oman's eastern coastal towns as a powerful cyclone approaches the oil-rich Gulf area, police officials said Tuesday. Cyclone Gonu, with winds of 160 miles per hour and gusts of 195 miles per hour, is heading northwest through the Indian Ocean toward Oman's east coast. Authorities on Monday evacuated nearly 7,000 people from Masirah, a lowland island off the east coast of Oman, said General Malik bin Suleiman al-Muamri, head of the country's civil defense. He said that a state of emergency was declared in the affected area, including mobilizing army and police forces to help provide shelter and medical services.