Hurricane Florence: Omani students face evacuation

Muscat: The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), in coordination with Oman’s cultural attaché in Washington, has confirmed that it is following up the situation of Omani students in the states expected to be affected by the Hurricane Florence, including the evacuation operations.

The ministry said as per a circular, the cultural attaché in Washington has started the evacuation process.

Dr Talal al Balushi, a cultural attaché in Washington, said that 115 students (university and postgraduate students in North and South Carolina) were contacted and informed about the evacuations.

The Ministry of Higher Education said the circular urges the students to leave the campus as soon as the university closes its doors.

Students have been urged to travel to safer states of the US in the South like Florida .

Students will be compensated for the costs of the eviction, which include the car rentals, domestic travel tickets, hotel and food expenses.

The mission will cover all the above expenses from September 11 to 16 2018. All travel related invoices must be kept outside the storm-affected area.

For any contingency, contact the mission at 5717220000, the circular said.

Fierce winds and massive waves are expected to lash the coasts of North and South Carolina and Virginia even before Florence makes landfall by early Friday, bringing a storm surge as much as 13 feet (4 meters), the National Hurricane Center in Miami warned. Catastrophic floods could follow if the storm stalls inland, it said.

Although Florence was still days from arrival, authorities took extraordinary measures to move people out of harm’s way. More than 1 million residents have been ordered to evacuate from the coastline of the three states, while university campuses, schools and factories were being shuttered.

The U.S. Coast Guard closed ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina and Hampton Roads, Virginia to inbound vessels greater than 500 tons and was requiring vessels of that size to leave if they did not have permission to be in the ports.