Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 6 August 2020

Two killed in Oman windstorm

An Indian construction worker was electrocuted and a farm worker buried when the shed he was living in collapsed.

JAALAN, OMAN // Two people were killed as strong winds swept eastern and central Oman on Friday night and Saturday morning, causing power outages, uprooting trees and destroying crops.

An Indian construction worker was electrocuted when an electricity pole fell on him in Haima in central Oman, while a compatriot working on a farm in the eastern town of Jaalan died after the walls of his accommodation collapsed.

“The man had his accommodation in the cow shed in the farm. The walls are made of brick but the foundation is not deep enough. I heard him shouting for help but it was too late. By the time we got there, he was dead,” said Raju Thaker, an Indian labourer working on an adjacent farm.

The wind also disrupted power supply, leaving many homes in darkness, residents said. Uprooted trees blocked roads and damaged houses. Power has now been restored.

Several farmers reported damage to their crops.

“ About 40 per cent of my date harvest is on the ground,” said Khalil Al Mataani, a farmer in Jaalan. “The wind also blew away my pesticide containers and they got smashed against the walls. The pesticides spilled on to my carrots and cucumbers and I don’t think they will survive to reach maturity.”

The wind also damaged several aflaj systems supplying water to farms in Haima, causing tens of thousands of litres to go to waste.

“Trees fell on the walls of the aflaj and the water spilled. It took days of rains to fill up the aflaj but only six hours of wind to empty them,” said Rashid Al Ghuraiby, a farmer in Haima.

The aflaj system collects rain water and is used to irrigate farms, especially during the summer.

The winds brought no rainfall and have now subsided.


Updated: May 14, 2017 04:00 AM



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