x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Cyclone Phet leaves 12 dead in its wake

Cyclone Phet killed 12 people and left one missing in Oman before it barrelled on towards Pakistan.

A car drives in a deserted and dark flooded street in Muscat on June 4.
A car drives in a deserted and dark flooded street in Muscat on June 4.

Cyclone Phet killed 12 people and left one missing in Oman before it barrelled on towards Pakistan, according to the head of Oman's civil defence force. Nine Omanis and three expatriates were killed by the storm, General Malek al Muammari told Oman's state television. An earlier statement on the official ONA news agency had said that victims included six people, among them a civil defence member, who were swept away by flood waters caused by rainfall from the cyclone.

Authorities said Phet had weakened in intensity on Friday before heading at wind speeds of up to 120 kilometres an hour towards Pakistan, where 60,000 people have been evacuated from the south coast to safer areas. The situation in Oman appeared to be returning to normal today. An AFP correspondent said that the rain had stopped and skies were relatively clear over Muscat and in most of the affected areas on Oman's eastern coast.

Rescue teams were working to reopen roads, restore electricity and repair water mains damaged by floodwaters, Gen Muammari said in a statement carried by ONA. Before the cyclone, the Omani authorities had taken several precautionary measures, evacuating hotels along the east coast and airlifting the residents of Masirah island to safer areas. Residents of the island were beginning to return today, Gen Muammari said on state television.

*AFP