Cyclone pounds Oman, Yemen; rain swamps city

Rain in Andaman

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said no Filipino has been reported dead or missing in Oman, following a powerful storm that triggered massive floods there.

Oman police earlier reported that the man died after floods swept him away with his auto near Salalah, Oman's second-largest city, while the girl died when a gust of wind smashed her into a wall.

India's Ministry of External Affairs said embassy officials had arranged for food for 460 people (145 Indians and 315 Bangladeshi nationals) at a camp in Taqah.

Parts of Salalah, a city of about 200,000 people, lost power as the cyclone made landfall.

Salalah and the surrounding area received almost 278mm of rain, almost three times its annual amount.

On Thursday, the storm pummeled the island of Socotra in war-torn Yemen, leaving at least 19 people missing, causing severe flooding and material damage.

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Fast-moving waters from the rain and storm surge flooded normally dry creek beds.

Yemeni officials also reported damage in the east of the country along the border with Oman, reports AP. Over 230 families in Oman have been relocated to better buildings.

Communication lines and water services have also been taken down by the winds. Some humanitarian aid from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates arrived on the island just hours after the cyclone receded.

Socotra's governor Ramzy Mahrous said five Yemenis had died on the island apart from the two Indians. "You try to watch from the window and you can't".

Oman's Public Authority for Civil Aviation last night officially announced the end of the direct effect of Mekunu on Oman, after satellite images showed that the storm was dissipating, but showers were still expected in Dhofar, Al Wusta and the Al Hajar mountains for 24 hours. They laughed and shared plates by flashlight in a darkened ballroom, the cyclone's wind a boring roar behind their clatter.

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