Monday, August 15
01:38 AM

Oman braces for Shaheen


In Muscat governorate, 55 emergency shelters have been set up, including 21 in Seeb and ten in Quriyat

Muscat – With heavy rains and disruption to normal life expected in the wake of tropical storm Shaheen over most of Oman, authorities declared Sunday and Monday to be an official holiday for government and private sector establishments.

The closure does not include the governorates of Dhofar and Al Wusta where the impact of the storm is expected to be minimum.

His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik on Saturday issued directives to provide all that is necessary for the safety of citizens and residents during the sultanate’s exposure to the effects of the tropical storm.
This came during an emergency meeting of the National Committee for Emergency Management (NCEM), headed by the Inspector General of Police and Customs.

NCEM urged residents of areas within the direct impact of the tropical storm from Barka to Saham, as well as the coastal strip of Muscat and some areas of South Sharqiyah to evacuate their homes and go to the nearest government shelters.

The National Multi Hazards Early Warning Centre stated that Shaheen will move towards the coast of North Batinah governorate, and make landfall between Saham and Suwaiq later in the day.

‘The governorates of Muscat, North and South Batinah, Dahirah, Buraimi, Dakhliyah and the coastal areas of South Sharqiyah will bear the direct impact of Shaheen from Sunday morning. It will include strong winds of 40-60 knots and heavy rains ranging between 200 to 500mm causing severe flash floods in these governorates,’ the centre stated.

The storm surge might cause seawater inundation in low-lying coastal areas.

The state of the sea will be rough along Omani coasts with maximum wave height between 8-12m.

Muscat Municipality and several other municipalities, especially in South and North Batinah governorates, confirmed their readiness to deal with the tropical situation.
Muscat Municipality has activated a 24-hour centre (1111) to receive updates and notifications, and has set up an operations room in its office in the wilayat of Seeb to take necessary action and delegate field teams to respond to emergencies.

Emergency shelters

In Muscat governorate, 28 emergency shelters have been set up, including 18 in Seeb and ten in Quriyat.

NCEM has established 33 shelters in South Batinah as part of its preparations to deal with the effects of the tropical situation. Eleven shelters have been planed in the wilayat of Rustaq, five each in the wilayats of Barka and Nakhal, and four each in wilayats of Al Awabi, Mussanah and Wadi al Ma’awel.

In North Batinah, 37 shelters will be provided, including eight in the wilayats of Sohar and Suwaiq, six each in the wilayats of Saham and Shinas, five in Khabourah, and four in Liwa, while six have been provided in South Sharqiyah – four in Sur and one each in Tiwi and Ras al Hadd.

The Ministry of Health confirmed the readiness of its health institutions to deal with the tropical situation and announced suspension of the ongoing vaccination drive across Oman, except in Al Wusta and Dhofar, until further notice.

Taking precautions, Mwasa-lat has suspended all city buses in Muscat governorate and intercity buses routes in all governorates until further notice. City bus services will continue in Salalah.
Ferry services have also been suspended on all routes to and from Musandam governorate until further notice, while ferries will continue to operate on the Shanna-Masirah route.

The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology stated that it has activated an emergency plan for road infrastructure in the governorates facing the threat of the storm. It called on companies working in the sector of road building and transport ‘to provide necessary and sufficient equipment and labour to open and maintain roads and delegate them in all sites expected to be damaged’. It has formed field teams in various governorates to monitor the condition of roads in each area.

The Ministry of Social Development decided to suspend work on Sunday and Monday in all children’s development and rehabilitation centres and nurseries in all of Oman.

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