We are ready to deal with tropical storm, says PACA chief
May 22, 2018 | 8:55 PM
by Times News Service
Dr. Mohammed Nasser Ali Al-Zaabi, CEO of PACA.

Muscat: As the tropical storm brewing in the Indian Ocean appeared set to reach the Oman coast at Dhofar and Wusta late Friday/early Saturday, the head of the Sultanate’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) has reassured the public that adequate preparations have been made.

Read here: Arabian Sea depression upgraded to 'tropical storm'

Dr. Mohammed Nasser Ali Al-Zaabi, CEO of PACA, said, “PACA is ready to follow up on the developments of the weather condition in the Arabian Sea and its impact on the country.”

Speaking to the Times of Oman, he further said, “The PACA is in full coordination with its department.”

Al Zaabi said PACA would issue all reports and, if necessary, warnings on the weather situation, and called on citizens and residents to get information from official sources.

Rough seas

When the centre of the storm reaches Dhofar and Wusta on Friday and Saturday, heavy rainfall, thunderstorms and strong winds are likely. Rough seas are also expected, with waves reaching as high as five to eight metres.

PACA advised people not to venture into wadis and to avoid low-lying areas.

Seafarers, such as fishermen, have been asked not to venture into the sea without updating themselves on the latest weather forecasts.

On Tuesday, the various arms of the National Civil Defence Committee met to study the situation. Members of this committee included the Royal Oman Police, the Ministry of Defence, the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA), and the Sultan Qaboos University.

In addition, PACA said Al-Zaabi had attended a meeting convened by weather specialists from Oman Meteorology, the country’s national weather warning and observation service. Members of the authority’s office in Dhofar were also present to discuss the preparations.

The United States Embassy in Oman also issued a warning to all those who may visit the southern region of the country over the next few days.

“There is a cyclone system developing in the Arabian Sea,” said a statement posted by the US Embassy.

“The storm is currently expected to make a landfall in southern Oman in the evening hours of May 25 or early morning of May 26. Expect heavy rains and strong winds with possible flooding, power outages and difficult travel conditions in southern Oman. Expect increased rainfall levels and winds throughout the country.” The advice issued by the embassy included avoiding travel to the region until the storm dissipated, monitoring local news, and seeking secure shelter, if necessary.

Acting on details issued by the US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre based out of Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, the United States Navy recorded the storm, labelled TC 02A, as being located 9.1 degrees north and 57.3 degrees east, approximately 684 nautical miles south of Masirah Island. It was being tracked in a north-westerly direction at seven knots, over the past six hours, with maximum surface winds estimated to be at 35 knots, gusting to 45 knots. The US Navy attached a warning status to its assessment of the North Indian Ocean Area.

According to Tropical Storm Risk, the storm warning initiative supported by the UK Government’s TSUNAMI undertaking, which looked to study weather patterns to allow for safer travel around the world, the storm was currently positioned at 9.6 degrees north and 57.2 degrees east, with wind speeds of up to 35 knots. The storm was predicted to be at 11.6 degrees north and 56.6 degrees east within the next 24 hours, with wind speeds reaching 60 knots.

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