Cyclone Phet kills 15 in Oman

Jun 05, 2010
Omanis watch the waves hit against the sea promenade in Muscat. Cyclone Phet has killed 15 people and left two missing in Oman before barrelling towards towards Pakistan, a civil defence force official has said.

Cyclone Phet killed 15 people and left two missing in Oman before barrelling towards Pakistan, a civil defence force official said on Saturday.

Thirteen Omanis and two expatriates were killed by the storm, he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, civil defence chief General Malek al-Muammari told AFP that the two dead expats were a Bangladeshi and a Pakistani.

Authorities said Phet had weakened in intensity on Friday before heading at wind speeds of up to 120 kilometres (75 miles) an hour towards Pakistan, where some 60,000 people have been evacuated from the south coast to safer areas.

The situation in Oman appeared to be returning to normal on Saturday. An AFP correspondent said that the rain had stopped and skies were relatively clear over Muscat and in most of the affected areas on Oman's eastern coast.

Rescue teams were working to reopen roads, restore electricity and repair water mains damaged by floodwaters, Muammari said in a statement carried by the official ONA news.

Before the cyclone, the Omani authorities had taken several precautionary measures, evacuating hotels along the east coast and airlifting the residents of Masirah island to safer areas.

The islanders were beginning to return on Saturday, Muammari said on state television.

In 2007, Gonu tore through Oman, killing at least 49 people and causing damage estimated at 3.9 billion dollars.

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