Muscat: Five people were rescued by the Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority (CDAA) as heavy rains lashed the Sultanate of Oman on Monday and Tuesday, throwing normal life out of gear.
Flash floods were reported in some parts of the country as the air depression brought in rains and thunderstorms across Oman.
A statement issued online by CDAA confirmed that its rescue team in North Al Sharqiyah Governorate rescued four people whose vehicle got stuck while crossing an overflowing wadi in the Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi. All the four people in the vehicle were safe and in good health, added the statement.
The CDAA team was called into action in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate where the team rescued a woman, whose vehicle was trapped in the middle of a wadi in the Wilayat of Nizwa.
The authority called upon everyone to adhere to the safety instructions until the weather clears up. On a day when rumours were rife of rain waters causing damage, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) denied that a school bus carrying school children drifted in an overflowing wadi in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate.
In a statement, ROP clarified that the engine of the bus broke down while entering the wadi but the students had disembarked before the water got into the bus. All the schoolchildren were dropped at their respective homes in another bus The school bus was carrying students from Aws Bin Thabit School for Basic Education in the village of Al Qaryatayn in Wilayat of Izki.
An official from the Royal Oman Police (ROP) confirmed to Times of Oman that all students were out of the bus by the time the water level rose. “All students are in good health and back at their homes,” said the official.
Thunderstorms accompanied by winds and hail fell in most of the governorates since Monday evening, and the Wilayat of Al Khabourah in North Al Batinah Governorate recorded the highest amount of rain.
On Tuesday, heavy to moderate rains fell in the governorates of Musandam, Al Buraimi, North and South Al Batinah, Al Dhahirah and Al Dakhiliyah, leading to overflow of a number of wadis and affecting traffic on the streets.
With the forecast of heavy rains, the Ministry of Education suspended studies in most of the governorates. “The ministry decided to suspend studies on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, in all public and private schools, morning and evening, in the governorates of Musandam, North Al Batinah, Al Buraimi and Al Dhahirah. Work in schools will resume on Wednesday, March 29, 2023,” a statement said.
School lessons and evening classes were also suspended in the governorates of Al Amerat and Qurayyat on Tuesday, with classes to be resumed on Wednesday, according to the Directorate General of Education in Muscat.
A statement issued online by Directorate General of Education in South Al Batinah Governorate, said: “It was decided to suspend studies for Tuesday, March 28, 2023 in the evening schools in the governorate, provided that work resumes on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Development on Tuesday announced the suspension of work and rehabilitation in government, family and private rehabilitation centres for persons with disabilities during the morning and evening periods in the governorates of Musandam, North Al Batinah, Al Buraimi and Al Dhahirah on Tuesday, due to the weather conditions in the Sultanate of Oman, and said that work in the centres will resume work on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources announced the amount of rainfall distribution across the Sultanate of Oman during the period from March 27-28 March until 10 am. The Wilayat of Al Khabourah in North Al Batinah Governorate recorded the highest amount of rainfall with 52 mm.
The wilayats of Izki and Al Hamra also recorded a large amount of rainfall in the Al Dakhiliyah governorate, with 40 and 38 mm respectively, followed by the wilayats of Ibri and Dhank in Al Dhahirah Governorate with 20 mm each. Nizwa also recorded 20 mm rainfall while Sohar had rainfall of 18 mm.
The wilayat of Khasab and Madha in Musandam Governorate recorded 15 and 14 mm respectively while both the wilayats of Suwaiq and Shinas in North Al Batinah Governorate recorded 3mm of rainfall.
In its weather bulletin on Monday, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had issued an alert predicting heavy rains from the morning of Tuesday (March 28) until the morning of Wednesday (March 29) in the governorates of Musandam, North Al Batinah, Al Buraimi, and Al Dhahirah, which may range from 30 to 80 mm.
The authority predicted that rain will affect the governorates of South Al Batinah, Al Dakhiliyah, Muscat, South Al Sharqiyah and North Al Sharqiyah on Tuesday afternoon and evening and could continue during the night and Wednesday morning that may include the governorates of Al Wusta and Dhofar.
The authority called on everyone to take precautions and caution during thunderstorms, not to cross wadis, avoid low-lying places, and not to venture out in the sea during the warning period.
“The sea will be medium to rough, on most coasts, with a maximum height of 1.5 to 3 metres,” the CAA added.
The CAA weather forecast for Wednesday was partly cloudy to cloudy skies over the governorates of South Al Sharqiyah, Al Wusta and Dhofar with chance of isolated rain.