Residents in the Dhofar Governorate and the Wilayat of Al Jazir in the Al Wusta Governorate in Oman are preparing for turbulent weather as heavy downpours batter the country, driven by the looming threat of Cyclone Tej in the Arabian Sea.
Cyclone Classification and Movement:
The Oman Meteorology Department has downgraded Cyclone Tej from a Category 3 tropical cyclone to Category 2, with predictions of a further reduction to Category 1.
The cyclone is currently located about 250km away from Salalah city and is moving west and northwest, heading toward the coasts of Dhofar Governorate and Yemen. It is expected to make landfall by Monday evening or the following morning.
Impact on the Country:
Some parts of the country are already experiencing the effects of the cyclone, with roads and valleys inundated by rising waters.
Omani authorities are evacuating vulnerable areas, including the Hallaniyat Islands and coastal regions in Salalah, Rakhyut, and Dhalkot.
Shelters have been prepared in Dhofar Governorate, where 15,000 people are expected to seek refuge.
Official Holidays and Precautions:
In light of the adverse weather conditions, authorities have declared October 23-24 (Monday and Tuesday) as official holidays for public and private sector employees in the Dhofar and Al Wusta governorates.
Heavier rains, gusty winds, and rough seas are anticipated, leading to potential flooding and damage.
Travel and Safety Precautions:
Flights between Muscat and Salalah airports have been increased to facilitate travel during the cyclone.
The Civil Aviation Authority has issued a stern advisory, urging the public to exercise extreme caution.
Specific warnings include avoiding crossing valleys and avoiding low-lying areas for safety.
Local authorities have issued guidelines and warnings for residents to follow during these unstable weather conditions. Safety measures include:
- Staying indoors.
- Securing objects that may become airborne.
- Remaining vigilant in turbulent weather.