Unseasonal rains hit Oman, causing severe floods

Unseasonal rains hit Oman, causing severe floods

Heavy rains and thunderstorms affecting Oman since Thursday, July 15, 2021, caused severe floods that disrupted traffic and electricity supply, swept away crops, particularly in the Al Dakjhaliya governorate, and left 4 people dead and 3 missing. Oman meteorologists said such heavy rains are unusual in July. With heavy rains expected to continue for several days, authorities are urging residents to take caution and refrain from going out.

Some parts of capital Muscat were also hit by heavy rains and floods during the early evening hours of July 16, closing roads and cutting off nearby towns.

Despite warnings from Royal Oman Police (ROP), numerous distress calls were received by the Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority (CDAA) and ROP due to flood water getting into homes, collapse of structures as well as due to being stuck on the road due to flooded roads, Gulf News reported.

The hardest hit was the northeastern city of Sur, the capital of Ash Sharqiyah South Governorate, where up to 204.4 mm (8 inches) of rainfall fell in just 28 hours.

At least one house collapsed in the city's Al Aija area:

Oman’s Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority said a construction worker died in Wadi Lizagh in Samail, Ad Dakhiliyah on July 16.

Two children died in separate incidents in Jalan Bani Bu Hasan, South Al Sharqiyah, and Awqad in Salalah, Dhofar Governorate on July 17. 

One person died and 3 are still missing after being swept away by floodwaters in Jalan Bani Bu Ali in South Al Sharqiyah on July 18.

Crop loss was reported by farmers in the northern Al Dakhaliya governorate. 

"I can see my lettuce, tomatoes, cabbages, limes, carrots and cucumbers floating in the fast currents. It is too dangerous to dive in and get them. I am just watching helplessly half of my crops being wasted in the flood," Rashid Al Sarmi, a farmer in the town of Manah in the Al Dakhliya region, told The National by phone.

Meteorologists said it was unusual for Oman to experience such heavy rain in July.

"Normally we have this in April or towards the end of the year but not in July. But this time, low pressure coming from the Gulf of Oman is causing a lot of heavy rains in the mainland and across the countries," forecaster Ahmed Al Rawahi told The National.

Featured image: Oman Weather and Climate Network

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