Storm alert for Oman

In the North Indian Ocean, the cyclone season continues until the end of December.

    Tropical Cyclone 05A has formed to the west of India and is generating severe weather and high seas [AFP]

    Following on the violent storms that hit Sri Lanka and the far south of India just a few days ago, a tropical cyclone has now developed in the Arabian Sea.

    Those earlier storms are known to have killed at least 18 people when strong winds hit southern Sri Lanka. Over 5,000 people were affected in the Matara District and around 2,000 people in the District of Galle.

    Many villages suffered widespread damage as trees were uprooted, blocking roads and causing travel disruption in and around the region. Gale force winds well in excess of 50 kph were reported.

    Meanwhile, many areas were also hit by heavy rain which caused some flooding. More than 100 families in the Batticaloa District sought shelter in nearby army camps.

    Likewise, roads became impassable in the Ampara and Badulla Districts where well over 80mm of rain fell in 24 hours, resulting in the threat of mudslides. Large areas of farmland have also suffered crop damage.

    Even on Sunday, Galle reported another 79 mm of rain in 24 hours with similar totals across the southern tip of India.

    The same area of disturbed weather has now developed into a tropical cyclone just to the southwest of India’s Cape Comorin. The system, named 05A, is currently tracking northwest over the Arabian Sea.

    Current forecasts expect the storm to continue moving in a general northwesterly direction. It will strengthen a little over the next 48 hours with winds peaking around 75 kph with gusts nearer 90 kph.

    After this, however, the system should lose strength as it encounters some strong winds aloft. The current track predicts that the storm will near the coast of Eastern Oman on Saturday and Sunday.

    Even though the winds will have eased significantly by then, the heavy rain which will accompany the remnants of the storm are very likely to cause flash-flooding across the region.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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