Cyclone Mekunu: death toll mounts as powerful cyclone hits Oman - live updates

Dozens have been reported missing on Socotra and many others displaced following heavy rain and strong winds

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  • Rescuers in Yemen recover two bodies from the island of Socotra
  • Yemeni officials said at least 40 people were missing on Socotra 
  • At least three people have died in Oman
  • Flash floods washed away thousands of animals and cut electricity and communication lines on the island of Socotra
  • Thunderstorms, fresh winds and dusty conditions expected in the eastern and southern parts of the UAE


19:00 - UAE aid plane lands on Socotra

A plane loaded with 40 tonnes of humanitarian supplies and food aid from the UAE landed on Socotra earlier today, the Wam news agency reported.


17:20 - Mekunu claims a third life in Oman

Tropical storm Mekenu claimed a third fatality in Oman after an Indian national died in a flooded valley


16:06 - Salalah airport to re-open to air traffic

According to a statement released by the Public Authority for Civil Aviation, Salalah airport will re-open to air traffic on Sunday morning (May 27):

"Due to the drop in the impact of Tropical System, allowing air traffic to resume its operations in accordance with the safety requirements, and in coordination with the operators, the PACA announces the reopening of the Salalah airport to air traffic starting from twelve o’clock Sunday morning, 27 May 2018.

"The International air traffic lines in the Omani airspace, which have been affected by the Tropical Cyclone, are now back to its activity smoothly.”


15:49 - Two dead in Yemen

Yemeni security officials say rescuers have recovered two bodies from the island of Socotra

Yemeni officials said earlier that around 40 people, including Yemeni, Indian and Sudanese nationals, were missing after the storm barreled through


13:20 - Cyclone downgraded to deep depression

Oman's Public Authority for Civil Aviation says the intensity of Cyclone Mekunu has dropped to a deep depression:


12:45 - Powerful storm leaves many without power

Parts of Salalah, the third largest city in Oman, were left without power on Saturday, as the powerful storm passed through the country.

Electrical workers are responding to restore power in the city.

Meanwhile, state television is reporting that a man was washed away in his car as he attempted to cross a flooded area.


11:15 - Three-day holiday declared in Dhofar

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said has declared three days of leave for employees in the governorate of Dhofar, where Salalah has been hit by the cyclone.


10:46 - In the eye of the storm

Social media users have braved the intense conditions to capture the powerful storm:


10:00 - Follow the latest on Cyclone Mekunu with The National

The National team will be tracking all the latest from Yemen and Oman, as Cyclone Mekunu makes landfall. Follow our rolling coverage as it happens.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading extensive relief operations to assist thousands in the disaster-hit island of Socotra, Yemen, following the damage caused by Cyclone Mekunu. More on those efforts here.

Indian aid vessels are en route to Oman and are on standby to help relief efforts.

Meteorologists have warned that the cyclone was gaining strength and would be "extremely severe".

The Indian Meteorological Department reported winds of 160-170 kilometres per hour, with gusts of up to 180kph in the Arabian Sea.


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