Girl, 12, among three killed as Cyclone Mekunu hits Oman

Girl, 12, among three killed as Cyclone Mekunu hits Oman

Dozens of vehicles were seen submerged in several areas.

Mekunu is now heading towards southern Saudi Arabia and is expected to hit parts of the Empty Quarter, one of the world's most arid deserts, late Saturday.

Oman's southern city of Salalah is experiencing the first pangs of a severe cyclone with category-three hurricane winds expected to pound the coastal city.

The storm had winds of 170km-180 km per hour with gusts up to 200 km per hour on Saturday, the India Meteorological Department said, as it called the cyclone "extremely severe".

About 10,000 people had been evacuated from schools and government buildings, mainly in Salalah, civil defence authorities said.

A powerful cyclone has killed a 12-year-old girl and left at least nine other people dead as it battered parts of Oman and Yemen. Three Asians who were wounded by the cyclone were rescued.

According to the United Kingdom government's Met office, the historical record reveals that strong cyclones over part of the peninsula (close to Salalah) are relatively rare.

The NCM urged residents to "keep following updates, reports and forecasts issued by the NCM and ignore rumours issued by non-professional entities".

Girl, 12, among three killed as Cyclone Mekunu hits Oman
Girl, 12, among three killed as Cyclone Mekunu hits Oman

Oman's civil aviation authority announced that Salalah airport would be closed for 24 hours from midnight (2000 GMT Thursday).

An image grab taken from an AFPTV video shows people walking through flood water as they evacuate a flooded area during a cyclone in the Yemeni island of Socotra.

The dead were four Yemenis and one Indian national, residents and medical sources told Reuters, while the missing included Yemenis, Indians and Sudanese.

Meanwhile, Yemen's government has declared the island of Socotra a disaster zone.

Saudi troops were deployed to Socotra earlier this month following tensions over an Emirati military presence on the island.

Yemeni officials also reported damage in the country's far east, along the border with Oman.

They made a decision to set up 11 relief centres in Socotra to provide shelter for people forced to evacuate their homes.

The entire country of Oman is in grave danger as Tropical Cyclone Mekunu travels over the Arabian sea.

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