Oman – Rain and Winds From Tropical Cyclone Hikaa Prompt Evacuations and Rescues

Tropical Cyclone Hikaa made landfall in Oman on 24 September, 2019, bringing strong winds, heavy rains and waves of 3 to 4 metres.

IMAGE; NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview

By the evening of 24 September Hikaa had been downgraded to a tropical storm. In a statement,the country’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) said, “The category of the tropical system Hikaa has gone back to ‘tropical storm’, since its windspeed around the centre now range between 45-55 knots.” The storm brought with it waterlogged roads and fast-flowing wadis – some of them overflowing in Ash Sharqiyah South and Al Wusta governorates.

As a precaution schools in affected areas were closed and ferry operations suspended to Masirah Island suspended. Oman’s National Emergency Management Center said around 750 people were pre-emptively evacuated and housed in 9 shelters in Al Wusta.

The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) carried out some evacuations in Shannah, the crossing point between the mainland and Masirah Island.

Six people were rescued from a bus trapped in an overflowing wadi in Al Agaiz, Haima, Al Wusta, according to the Public Authority for Civil Defense and Ambulance (PACDA). No injuries were reported.

According to PACA, the direct effects of Hikaa have since ended in Oman although further rain is possible.

Flood rescues after wadis overflowed following rain from Cyclone Hikaa, Oman, September 2019. Photo; PACDAOman

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