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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Timeframe: When Cyclone Phet made waves in the UAE

Despite the damage on the coast of Oman and the UAE, surfers found the perfect waves in Fujairah

A surfer enjoys the large waves caused by Cyclone Phet at Snoopy Island in Fujairah on June 4, 2010. Stephen Lock / The National 
A surfer enjoys the large waves caused by Cyclone Phet at Snoopy Island in Fujairah on June 4, 2010. Stephen Lock / The National 

Cyclones do happen in the Arabian Peninsula: as seen this week when Mekunu hit Yemen and Oman, leaving 13 dead. That said, tropical cyclones do not always reach the coast – about half dissipate offshore.

Eight years ago this week, Cyclone Phet damaged infrastructure in Oman and halted oil production. Fujairah’s Corniche was closed and The National reported that 57 members of the UAE Urban Search and Rescue Team kept watch throughout the day along coastal areas, with sandbags along the beach at the Hilton Fujairah.

Surfers took to Dibba and Al Aqah to take advantage of waves of three metres on the coast, and four metres at sea.

People were so prepared for the 2008 storm in part because of Cyclone Gonu’s deadly force in 2006, which resulted in 50 deaths in Oman and caused hundreds of UAE residents to evacuate their homes.

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