Cyclone Mekunu forecast to have 'minimal' impact on the UAE

World       by Usman Arshad | Published

The centre said the eye of the storm was expected to make landfall on the southern coast of the sultanate at 2000 local time (1600 GMT). Strong winds knocked over street lights and tore away roofing.

The Al Jazeera report also added that the Mekunu development has occurred barely a week after another cyclone, Sagar, had formed in the same region.

"The weather change in the UAE is expected to start on Friday, with the activity of the southeastern wet wind, which may lead to rainy clouds and mild to moderate rainfall in different areas of Dubai", said Iman Al Falasi, head of Geodetic and Marine Survey Section.

A life-threatening storm is set to hit Oman after traveling over the Arabian sea on May 25.

The Royal Oman Police later said on Twitter that a 12-year-old girl died after winds from the cyclone caused her to collide with a wall.

Oman's state news agency said authorities had evacuated hospitals in Dhofar province and areas along the Yemeni border, and the police and army are on alert.

India's Meteorological Department said the storm packed maximum sustained winds of 170-180 kilometers (105-111 miles) per hour with gusts of up to 200 kph (124 mph).

Before making landfall in Oman, Mekunu struck the Yemeni island of Socotra where it capsized ships, swept away vehicles and washed away the only road between Socotra's capital and most populous city of Hadiboh to the Socotra Airport.

Oman's Public Authority for Civil Aviation assured the public it's monitoring the storm and will issue updates as it progresses. Salalah's port is a key gateway for the country.

Omani forecasters warned Salalah and the surrounding area would get at least 200 millimeters (7.87 inches) of rain, over twice the city's annual downfall.

More than 45 people were unaccounted in Socotra on Friday afternoon, the official told CNN. Some humanitarian aid from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates arrived just hours after the cyclone receded.

The internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi declared early Thursday Socotra a "disaster province" due to severe damage, according to Saba.

37% of Socotra's plant species, 90% of its reptile species and 95% of its land snail species do not occur anywhere else in the world.

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