UAE on High Alert, Oman Suspends Flights as Cyclone Nears
The United Arab Emirates said it was on “high alert” and Oman suspended flights as a storm neared the countries’ coastlines.
Cyclone Shaheen was approaching Oman’s capital of Muscat on Sunday with wind speeds of up to 116 kilometers (72 miles) per hour, according to the nation’s civil aviation authority. It is expected to strengthen into a category 1 tropical cyclone, the authority said.
The state-run Oman News Agency said a child died due to flooding and another person was missing.
The center of the storm will probably land on Oman’s northern coast, close to the industrial port city of Sohar, according to the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
The cyclone is forecast to cause wind speeds of around 30 knots (35 miles an hour) at the key UAE oil-export and storage hub of Fujairah, said the port’s harbor master. This is within a normal range and shippers have not been advised to change their plans, but officials will alter their guidance if conditions worsen, he said.
The U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast was hit by Hurricane Ida, a stronger category 4 storm, in late August. That led to the shutdown of almost 2 million barrels a day of crude production, some of which is still offline.
The Omani government declared a public holiday on Sunday and Monday “due to the adverse climate conditions,” and the airports authority said flights to and from Muscat would be rescheduled.
Some regions of the UAE on the Arabian Sea coastline will be affected from Sunday until Tuesday, according to the nation’s National, Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority.
“Authorities are on high alert to deal with the upcoming situation, and take all proactive and preventive measures to mitigate its impact,” a spokesperson said at a media briefing on Saturday.
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