Two children have drowned and six people are missing amid continuing flash floods across parts of Oman, according to Oman Television and witness reports.
The two unnamed children, both boys under the age of 10, drowned in different towns.
One was found floating in the southern resort city of Salalah and the other in Jalan Bani Hassan, a town in eastern Oman.
All of the missing people are reported to have been swept away by surges of floodwater in wadis in the eastern city of Sur. Two of the missing people are expatriates who were spotted trying to cross a wadi.
“They were trying to get back their personal belongings from the wadi but the water was too strong. One got swept away while the other, as he was trying to save him, was also pulled away by the water. That was the last time I saw them,” 44-year-old Hamed Al Araimi, an Omani living in Sur, told The National.
The Civil Defence and Ambulance Department said the other missing people are Omanis who were reported by witnesses trying to cross wadis in their vehicles on Saturday evening. The rescue team is still searching for them.
The meteorological department on Sunday issued its latest warning for people to take precautions in the unpredictable weather.
“The Met department advises the public to take precautions during thunderstorms. Wadis are flooded and sea conditions are dangerous. Follow our latest weather bulletins and reports,” it said.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms hit several areas of Oman from Thursday, causing floods, ruining crops and disrupting the electricity supply.
The torrential rain came at a time when Omanis were enjoying the week-long Eid holiday, which started on Friday. On Friday evening, the authorities extended the current stay-home period — aimed at keeping down the number of Covid-19 cases — by a day, from July 20 from July 23.
The country has been operating under an 8pm to 4am stay-home order since June 2. However, from Friday to Monday this was extended by three hours, to start at 5pm.