Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Cyclone Mekunu intensifies into `extremely severe, IMD issues fresh warning

Cyclone Mekunu intensifies into `extremely severe, IMD issues fresh warning

"The Mekunu cyclone has moved away from the Indian coast, but it is likely to cause the western coast receive some heavy spells of showers", the official added.

Cyclone Mekunu is intensifying to hurricane-level strength in the Arabian Sea and is expected to hit Oman and Yemen later this week, forecasters said Wednesday.

Three people, including a 12-year-old girl, died in Oman, and another two bodies were recovered from the Yemeni island of Socotra. He said there were no fatalities in the province.

Portions of Salalah, Oman's third-largest city, lost electricity as the cyclone made landfall.

Winds and rains have subsided a bit in the main Socotra city of Hadibu, but the cleanup was expected to be extensive. Many officers rode in Royal Oman Police SUVs with chicken wire over the windows, likely because their other vehicles weren't tall enough to manoeuvr through the floodwater.

The Yemeni high relief agency met with global humanitarian organisations in Aden late Thursday to discuss the situation, the country's Saba news agency reported.

However, she recommended the need for caution for highways and seafarers to save lives and property, especially in areas close to the Oman border.

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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.

The officials said Friday that over 230 families had been relocated to shelter in sturdier buildings and other areas, including those more inland and in the island's mountains.

Saudi teams on the island managed to open the main road between the island's capital and its airport, he said.

Neighboring Yemen remains locked in a yearslong war.

Socotra has a unique ecosystem and is home to rare plants, snails and reptiles that can be found nowhere else on the planet.

In 2007, Cyclone Gonu tore through Oman, killing at least 49 people and causing damage estimated at $3.9 billion (3.3 billion euros). However, that cyclone was categorized as a Category 1 hurricane, meaning it only had winds of up to 152 kph (95 mph).

Oman's directorate general of meteorology said the cyclone would gradually diminish into a tropical depression before hitting the southern parts of Saudi Arabia.

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