Three killed as heavy rains lash Oman

More than 100 homeless as floods hit labour camps

Powered by automated translation

Heavy rains in Oman have left three people dead and 120 homeless, the civil defence department said on Sunday.

The rains caused flash floods that filled up wadis and swept cars off roads. One man died after being struck by lightning in the northern town of Saham while two others drowned when their vehicles plunged into a flooded wadi in the town of Fariq, in eastern Oman.

The rain, which started falling on Saturday, is forecast to continue for the rest of this week. Oman received an average of 12mm of rain over 48 hours, the Met department said on Sunday.

Houses were also flooded in areas near the mountains and wadi areas in different towns of the country. In the capital Muscat, heavy rain caused roofs to collapse at three camps housing expatriate construction workers.

At one of the camps, in Rumais, witnesses reported hearing workers' screams in the early hours of Sunday morning.

"They were running everywhere and shouting. Some tried to save their belongings that were floating in the wadi. I saw one of them pulling his friend out of the water," said Salim Zaher, who lives nearby. "When the sun rose in the morning, there were cooking pans, clothes, food and pieces furniture floating on the water. It is incredible nobody died there."

Raju Renkat, an Indian construction supervisor, said he was struggling to find alternative accommodation for his workers after flooding at their camp in Maabela, northern Muscat.

“Where will they sleep tonight? There are over 40 of them in this labour camp. Their beds are floating in the wadi and their food as well. They are homeless and I have problem finding them a place to sleep,” Mr Renkat said.

In the eastern town of Sur, the wall of a house collapsed but no one was hurt.

Omar Juma, who lives next door, said he was woken by the sound of the collapse.

“I thought it was thunder and I went back to sleep. Soon after, I heard my front doorbell ring. It was MY neighbour, who said his living-room wall had cracked and fallen. The house is unsafe and the family is in my home now,” he said.

Some mountainous areas had to cope with icy roads as well. The icy conditions caused more than 70 road accidents in Al Wosta region, according to a civil defence official.

“More than 60 people suffered minor to severe injuries due to these accidents on Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures went down to about 6 degrees Celsius during the night, creating frost on the roads,” the official said.