People rescued from wadis as Oman hit by heavy rain

Civil Aviation Authority warns people to stay safe as storms predicted to worsen

A man wades through a flooded street in Oman's capital Muscat. AFP
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Some areas of Oman experienced flooding on Tuesday as heavy rain and hail fell, and authorities warned people to stay away from wadis and other areas prone to flooding.

Cars were swept away in at least two wadis as water filled the valleys and roads were covered with water. The Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority said it had rescued one person from a wadi in Rustaq in the north of the country.

“A team in the governorate of South Al Batinah managed to rescue a person after he became stuck in Wadi Al Ghashab stream in the wilayat of Rustaq, and he is in good health,” the agency said in a statement.

Oman's Civil Aviation Authority warned people to stay away from wadis and take sensible precautions due to the rainfall, which could reach up to 40 millimetres.

The agency said the bad weather is expected to continue until Wednesday.

Omanis living in Musandam, a region in the northern peninsula, and in the Batinah towns of Shinas and Saham said streets are deserted and roads are empty.

“The rain has started but not heavy at the moment and people are reacting from the television and radio warnings to stay indoors,” Taher Al Suwaidi, 37, a taxi driver from Khasab in Musandam, told The National.

“No one is on the streets and hardly any cars are on the roads. Everyone is taking precautions and expecting the worst.”

The inclement weather comes months after Cyclone Shaheen swept through Oman in early October, killing at least 11 people.

Following the storm, volunteers took to the streets to aid the clean-up process and businesses pledged more than $19.11 million to help those affected.

Tuesday's storm struck the same areas hit by Cyclone Shaheen, including the region of Batinah. In that area, no one is taking the Civil Aviation Authority’s warnings lightly.

“After what we went through in October, everybody here is taking it seriously,” said Abdullah Al Hilali, 29, a teacher in Shinas.

“All the shop shutters are down since the rain started in Shinas. No one is venturing outside, on foot or driving in the last six hours. We hope it will not be as devastating as it was last time.”

Some reported lightning, strong winds and thunder.

“The rain is not strong but the wind is quite strong at the moment,” Fahar Al Balushi, 33, a mechanical engineer in Saham, told The National.

“The lightning is frightening and the thunder is loud. We don’t know what will happen during the night,”

Updated: November 30, 2021, 8:28 PM