Wednesday, October 20
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Municipality workers at forefront of clean-up drive

9 Oct 2021

Muscat – Workers from Muscat Municipality have been at work around the clock to clean up the debris left by tropical cyclone Shaheen in Muscat governorate. In the spirit of institutional cooperation and community support, Muscat Municipality said it also sent its personnel and equipment to North Batinah to support cleaning and rehabilitation efforts on Friday.

In Muscat, the streets were at the mercy of the cyclone, and in the aftermath witnessed uprooted trees, landslides, massive holes on roads and flooded buildings. Areas like Bausher, Seeb and Muttrah saw heavy rainfall and strong winds, resulting in damaged roads and infrastructure.

Municipality workers in charge of the clean-up were the first responders in the situation.

Hassan (name changed), a worker from the Baldia (municipality) camp, spent the wee hours of Monday picking up debris and cleaning affected sites. “Massive trees were uprooted, and we had to lift heavy rocks that fell due to landslides. Garbage from overturned dustbins flowed with the rainwater on roads, collecting in potholes on damaged roads,” he said.

Workers operated in two-hour shifts at the affected areas, where flooding and landslides rendered roads unmotorable due to debris. They were provided food packets and provisions by camp authorities in preparation of the emergency clean-up.

“We were not evacuated from the camp quarters, since there was no trouble apart from a few fallen trees and water logging. All electrical facilities were damaged, and there was complete darkness until the power lines were fixed the next day,” Hassan said.

“Work will continue for the next two to three weeks, and it may take an entire month for the roads to be completely restored,” said Biju, a municipality worker in Wadi Kabir.

“During Cyclone Gonu in 2007, the damage was a lot worse. We had to work longer shifts and spent several months clearing the roads. In comparison, the damage is minimal this time.”

H E Sayyid Saud bin Hilal bin Hamad al Busaidi, Minister of State and Governor of Muscat, together with the deputy governor and head of Muscat Municipality, evaluated affected areas to ensure sustained repair works in the cyclone-hit areas, according to a tweet by Muscat Municipality.

(Contributed by Akshaya Pavanje)

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