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Oman: Three dead as Cyclone Shaheen makes landfall in Muscat

Neighbouring UAE on alert, as Oman shuts schools and delays some flights because of adverse weather
Flooding in the Omani capital Muscat, as tropical cyclone Shaheen makes landfall, 3 October 2021 (AFP)

Tropical cyclone Shaheen bore down on Oman on Sunday, killing at least three people, while authorities urged residents to evacuate coastal areas and delayed flights to and from the capital Muscat.

Part of the eyewall of the storm, where the most severe weather occurs, had entered Al Batinah South governorate, the official Oman News Agency said.

Flights were suspended and schools closed as the storm, with wind speeds up to 139kmh, was due to cross Oman's north coast in the evening.

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In the capital, Muscat, vehicles were tyre-deep in water and streets were empty.

Rescue teams pulled the bodies of two men from their home after it was hit by a landslip in the Rusayl industrial area of Muscat province, Oman's National Committee for Emergency Management said.

A child died and another person was reported missing in flash floods in the same province, it added.

Oman declared a two-day national holiday on Sunday and Monday, shuttering schools, "due to the adverse climate conditions", Oman News Agency reported.

While some flights to and from Muscat International Airport were rescheduled "to avoid direct impact of the weather situation", the airport said on Twitter that it continued to operate.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority urged people to avoid low-lying areas and valleys.

The national emergency committee said the power supply would be cut in al-Qurm, east of the capital, to avoid accidents. More than 2,700 people were put up in emergency shelters.

Most of the oil-exporting country's five million people live in and around Muscat. Roads in the capital would be open only to vehicles on emergency and humanitarian journeys until the storm dies down, authorities said.

Neighbouring United Arab Emirates said it was also on "high alert”, with emergency authorities urging people to avoid beaches and low-lying areas.

"We would like to assure everyone that the concerned authorities are on high alert and prepared to deal with any upcoming tropical situation," the UAE's National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said on Saturday.