Oman floods leave one dead in southern city of Salalah

Torrential rains disrupt power, water, traffic and business

Heavy rains in Salalah. Photo: Marwa Ruqaishi
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One person died and another was missing after heavy rains damaged property and disrupted power supplies in Oman's southern city of Salalah, state television reported on Saturday.

The report said a man was washed away and drowned by heavy floods caused by torrential rains.

The flooding brought traffic to a halt traffic and damaged property in the low-lying areas of Salalah, the main city in Dhofar province.

State television said the government had sent military police to help clear the roads and airlift people trapped in the floods.
Residents in the worst-hit areas in central Salalah reported power outages and disruptions in water supply. Internet and telephone connections were also affected in some areas.

“We are without electricity at the moment – and water supply, but the government has sent a team to repair the problems,” said Ali Al Shanfari, 34.

The flooding also forced businesses that have been allowed to operate during Oman's coronavirus lockdown to close. 
"The shutters of my shop have been damaged and the restaurant is flooded with water. I will be out of business for at least a week to do the repairs," said Abdulatif Arif, 47, an Indian national.
The coronavirus outbreak forced the cancellation earlier this month of Salalah's annual Khareef festival for the first time in 34 years. The popular event, held between June and August, draws more than 400,000 visitors from other Gulf states, including 100,000 from the UAE.
Oman on Saturday reported 603 more Covid-19 cases and 42 deaths from the coronavirus. A total of 10,423 people have been infected so far, according to the health ministry.