A life-threatening storm is set to hit Oman after traveling over the Arabian sea on May 25. Learn more about Tropical Cyclone Mekunu, which could bring over a year’s worth of rain in one day.
The entire country of Oman is in grave danger as Tropical Cyclone Mekunu travels over the Arabian sea. The cyclone is set to bring powerful landfall that hasn’t been seen in that part of the Arabian Peninsula since the 1950s, according to the Weather Channel. As of late morning on May 25, local time (Oman is eight hours ahead of United States ET), the cyclone had maximum sustained winds of 105mph, as an “extremely severe cyclonic storm” by the Indian Meteorological Department — the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane.
The center of the storm is currently about 85 miles south-southwest of Salalah, Oman — the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 300,000 people. It’s also a popular tourist destination. Meteorologists are expecting damaging winds as the center of the storm reaches southwest Oman. Power outages are likely, as well as storm surge flooding in low-lying coastal areas. Life-threatening flash floods are likely in normally dry areas. Wave heights of 26 to 29 feet are expected off the coasts of Dhofar and Al-Wusta Governorates, according to the Sultanate’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA).
Five inches of rain is expected in southwest Oman, far eastern Yemen, and southeast Saudi Arabia through Sunday, May 27. This is the equivalent of a year’s worth of rain for the area, or more.
Seventeen people are currently missing on Socotra Island in the Arabian Sea, where the cyclone has already hit. The missing persons were in boats that capsized or or vehicles that were washed away in floods, according to Yemen’s pro-government SABA news agency. Yemen’s government has called it a “disaster zone.” A Yemeni man on Socotra, who spoke to the Weather Channel on the condition of anonymity, said floods are everywhere, washing away cars. “More than 200 families have been displaced from their homes in the suburbs of Hadibu and areas close to the northern coast. Two Indian cargo ships have gone missing, losing five of their crew members.”
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