Muscat: Although Cyclone Kyarr is not expected to directly affect Oman, emergency services in the country have made preparations for any indirect impact the cyclone will have on the Sultanate, in addition to preparing an action plan, should Kyarr veer off its predicted course and come towards Oman.
The National Committee for Civil Defence (NCCD), which coordinates all emergency services in the country — rescue and relief efforts during events that could impact the entire country — put out a message asking citizens and residents in the country to take beware of the effects of Kyarr, safeguard their lives and property, and avoid going to areas by the sea.
Read here: Oman's NCCD prepares to deal with after-effects of storm
Although Kyarr is about 545 kilometres from the Omani coastline, it is unlikely to directly impact the Sultanate, but the NCCD is taking no chances with Kyarr and is closely monitoring the situation.
“Under the guidance of the inspector general of Police and Customs, and the chairman of the National Civil Defence Committee, the NCCD is following up the developments of the pathway of the Tropical Cyclone Kyarr and its expected impact on Oman,” NCCD said. “This is being done in coordination with specialists of the Public Civil Aviation Authority and the National Multi-Hazard Early Warning Centre.”
“According to several models and weather maps, it is likely that the tropical cyclone will pass along the coasts of South Al Sharqiyah, Al Wusta and Dhofar, at a distance of more than 200 kilometres. Oman will be affected by rising sea waves and varying degrees of rainfall and active winds,” the committee added.
On their plans to prepare for the impending cyclone, NCCD said: “The sub-committees of Civil Defence in these governorates and all major authorities have started to take the necessary steps to prepare and enhance their resources and capabilities to deal with the effects of the tropical situation and reduce damages.”
Having significantly weakened as it moved across the Arabian Sea from India towards the Middle East, Cyclone Kyarr, at the time of writing, had been downgraded to a Category 3 cyclone, even as areas east of Oman continued witnessing sporadic rainfall.
Kyarr was expected to continue in its west-northwest direction before changing course and moving southwest in the seas off the Sharqiyah, Wusta and Dhofar Governorates, before dying down in the Gulf of Aden off Yemen.
“It will continue movement in a west/northwest direction during the next 36 hours before deviating towards the southwest,” the National Multi Hazard Early Warning Centre at the Public Authority for Civil Aviation’s (PACA) Directorate General of Meteorology said. “The weather condition is generally clear over most of the Sultanate’s governorates with the possibility of clouds and sporadic rainfall over the governorates of South Al Sharqiyah, Al Wusta and costal wilayats of the Arabian Sea.”
“A combination of high tide between 9 and 11pm pm tonight and storm surge from Kyarr along coastal areas of the Sea of Oman (three to 3.5 metres metres) and the Arabian sea (six to eight metres) which could cause inundation to low lying coastal areas,” PACA added.
The Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA) added, “PACDA is following up the tropical situation in the Arabian Sea in coordination with PACA. We stress that the civil defence and ambulance centres in all governorates across the Sultanate are fully prepared to deal with the developments in the situation and for any emergency requiring the intervention of the teams of the authority.”
The effects of Cyclone Kyarr were already being felt in Oman on Monday and Tuesday, with waves far higher than normal splashing passers-by on the Muttrah Corniche, and flooding the roads near Port Sultan Qaboos. Worse still, the impact of the cyclone on the corniche created cracks in the pavement by the sea, prompting those who lived in the area to exercise caution. Despite the dangers involved, many people flocked to the area to see the high waves first-hand.
Watch: Cracks appear on corners of Muttrah Corniche
Further north, in Sohar, the impact of the waves from Kyarr was so strong that it had made the road from Khor Al Siyabi to Al Shezaw practically unusable, requiring Sohar Municipality to begin emergency repairs on that road, while the Royal Oman Police diverted traffic to other lanes. The road was soon reopened after immediate repairs were completed.
“The road from Al Shezaw to Khor Al Siyabi has been temporarily closed for traffic due to the high waves accompanying Tropical Cyclone Kyarr, which was done in coordination with the Royal Oman Police,” said a statement from Sohar Municipality at the time.
Also read: This road to be temporarily closed in Oman
In the South Sharqiyah Governorate, near Ras Al Hadd, many homes were inundated due to the steep rise in water levels, causing those who lived in the area to request the construction of a breakwater to halt floodwaters and reduce occurrence of such incidents in future.
The state-run Oman News Agency added, “The National Committee for Civil Defence calls on everyone to obtain information from official sources only and follow the instructions issued by them and to take precautions to protect life and property.”