Oman wet weather spell enters second week

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Military steps in to assist emergency services in one of the longest wet spells

Muscat: The Met Office has forecast more rain across the northern areas of Oman as the current wet weather spell, now entering its second week, is poised to be one of the longest to be experienced by the Sultanate in modern times.

A bulletin issued by the Directorate General of Meteorology and Air Navigation late on Sunday predicted thundershowers on Monday and Tuesday, particularly over the Hajar Mountains and other areas of northern Oman.

The advisory comes as emergency services continue to warn the general population of the hazards of crossing flooded streams and inundated areas. Around 23 people were rescued by first responders of the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA) on Sunday, as heavy rain continued to drench large areas of the eastern and coastal provinces of the Sultanate. Airborne rescue units of the Royal Oman Police were also in action over several districts of Dhahirah governorate, which witnessed some of the heaviest rain in decades.

In Ibri district, around 30 people trapped in marooned vehicles and flooded homes were evacuated to safety on Saturday. Elements of the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF) were also pressed into service to assist Civil Defence authorities in rescue efforts. Units of the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) were also mobilised to survey areas affected by flooding and inundation, the official Oman News Agency said.

The unremitting rain prompted the Ministry of Education to order schools to remain shut in the Dhahirah region for the second day on Sunday. Local school authorities have been granted discretionary powers to order school closures within their jurisdictions depending upon the unfolding weather situation.

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