Tropical cyclone Mekunu unlikely to reach UAE

Debris and sea foam litters a beach after Cyclone Mekunu in Salalah Oman Saturday May 26

Debris and sea foam litters a beach after Cyclone Mekunu in Salalah Oman Saturday May 26

A cyclone more powerful than any previously recorded in southern Oman has slammed into the Gulf country and neighbouring Yemen, deluging a major city with almost three years' worth of rainfall in a single day and leaving 11 people dead.

Powerful gusts tore away street light poles and ripped up roofing around the city, as quickly rising waters overwhelmed ordinarily dry watercourses. The Arabian Sea churned Saturday morning, sending mounds of sea foam into the air. The governor of Yemen's Socotra said two Indian sailors had died in the storm, AFP reported. Power outages are likely, as well as storm surge flooding in low-lying coastal areas.

Oman´s civil aviation meanwhile made a decision to reopen Salalah Airport on Sunday, which had been closed for the past three days.

Shahriar Alam said many Bangladesh nationals remain engaged in fishing in Sea.

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At least 17 people were missing after Mekunu hit Socotra in war-torn Yemen on Thursday, causing severe flooding and material damage.

The storm flooded Socotra's villages and capsized boats, leaving much of the island without access to communications.

The Royal Oman Police later said on Twitter that a 12-year-old girl died after winds from the cyclone caused her to collide with a wall.

The Port of Salalah, a key gateway for the country, is also closed with its cranes secured against the pounding rain. Some humanitarian aid from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates arrived on the island just hours after the cyclone receded.

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Extremely severe cyclone MEKUNU has been travelling N/NW towards Oman and Yemen.

Yemen's government has declared a state of emergency on the strategic and ecologically diverse island, which lies between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

More than 800mm of rain is expected in Salalah and the storm may be upgraded to category 3, said reports.

Socotra has a unique ecosystem and is home to rare plants, snails and reptiles that can be found nowhere else on the planet.

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The storm had intensified to a category two cyclone as it hit Oman's Dhofar and Al-Wusta provinces on the Arabian Sea on Friday, battering the coast with torrential rains, strong winds and massive waves.

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