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Cyclone death toll in Oman, Yemen rises to 11

28 May, 2018, 09:44 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • World       by Usman Arshad | Published

At least five other people were killed when the storm devastated the Yemeni island of Socotra on Thursday, with dozens of others missing.

"The streets of Salalah are flooded with heavy rains and high wind, even though the epicentre of the storm is some 80 km from the area", he said. The governor of Yemen's Socotra said two Indian sailors had died in the storm, AFP reported.

Yemen's pro-government SABA news agency reported that 17 people were missing after two ships capsized in the storm and three vehicles washed away.

Thousands of residents near the coastal areas in the two provinces have been evacuated to safer shelters as winds up to of 170 kilometres (105 miles) per hour and torrential rainfall lashed the coastal areas, officials said.

Mekunu was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved inland towards the Yemeni border and the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia.

Yemen's government has declared a state of emergency on the strategic and ecologically diverse island, which lies between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

Authorities have urged other residents to stay indoors.

Oman´s civil aviation meanwhile chose to reopen Salalah Airport on Sunday, which had been closed for the past three days.

Around 1,000 families on Socotra, with a population of around 60,000, were evacuated after their homes were damaged.

In a statement, the authority said the airport would close at midnight Thursday for a 24-hour period, which, it said, could be extended further depending on climatic developments.

Socrotra is now embroiled in another kind of storm, as tensions between the Yemeni government and the United Arab Emirates over the presence of Emirati troops on the island recently reached a head. The cyclone was severe on Friday night.

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.

In 2007, Cyclone Gonu tore through Oman and later even reached Iran, causing $4 billion in damage in Oman alone and killing over 70 people across the Mideast.

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