Oman advises Dhofar to shut businesses after cyclone hits

Oman advises Dhofar to shut businesses after cyclone hits
2 min read
Authorities recommended businesses shut for three days in Dhofar as cyclone hits Oman's southern region and workers repair infrastructure.
Cyclone Mekunu flooded Salalah's streets over the weekend [Getty]
Oman has ordered all businesses in the southern Dhofar region to shut down for three days after Cyclone Mekunu hit the coastal area on Saturday. 

The ministry of labour announced a three-day holiday for private sector businesses and establishments, according to the state-run ONA news agency.

The cyclone that hit Oman over the weekend was more powerful than any previously recorded in the southern region, deluging a major city with nearly three years' worth of rainfall in a single day. The storm killed at least six people while more than 30 remain missing, officials said. 

Cyclone Mekunu caused flash flooding that tore away whole roadways and submerged others in Salalah, Oman's third-largest city, stranding drivers. Strong winds knocked over street lights and tore away roofing.

Portions of Salalah, home to some 200,000 people, lost power as the cyclone made landfall.The storm packed maximum sustained winds of 105-111 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 124 mph. 

The Sembcorp Salalah Water and Power Co also shut down its water desalination plant because of rough seas and the tropical storm. 

The airport, closed since Thursday, will reopen early on Sunday, Oman's Public Authority for Civil Aviation said.

Several large stroms have struck Oman in recent years, including Cyclone Gonu, which left at least 49 dead and caused $4 billion in damage in 2007. 

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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