SALALAH, June 9 – The restoration and rehabilitation work in cyclone-affected areas in Dhofar is going on a war footing. No one would have thought restoration of full connectivity between Dhalkout and Salalah would be complete within five to seven days despite the fact that two connecting bridges and long stretches of roads were washed away in the cyclone. It was a Herculean task for the government machinery to restore road connectivity between Dhalkout and Salalah but the quick action made it possible to construct 4.5 km of temporary road in five days and there is a plan to construct a permanent road in another 25 days.
The road leading to Rakhyout and Dhalkout got damaged due to collapse of the main bridge near Mughsayl beach, which is famous for big mountain caves resembling a lion and big trunk of an elephant, and more importantly for natural blow holes, adjacent to the sea.
A two-lane temporary road has already been made from Qaishan to Wadi Afwal. On water and electricity front, maintenance of the affected machines is going on, while alternate supply is being carried through heavy duty power generators.
Water is being transported by tankers as there has been disruption in supply due to lack of electricity and major snag caused by adverse weather conditions. Musallam al Shanfari, Wali of Dhalkout, expressed happiness over the restoration of road link between Dhalkout and Salalah and admitted that the speed of work was really faster keeping in mind the intensity of the cyclone and subsequent damages.
“I really appreciate and thank Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan bin Hamoud al Busaidy, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar, for his concern for the people of Dhalkout. He kept on taking stock of the situation and personally made visit to understand the gravity of the situation.” The Governor along with Shaikh Mohammed bin Said al Kalbani, Minister of Social Development, and officials visited the wilayats of Rakhyout and Dhalkout. They took note of damages and immediate requirements of the people of both the wilayats. He did a review meeting with the sub-committee for the civil defence and public services officials and instructed them to continue the fast pace of restoration work, as Khareef (monsoon) season is fast approaching.
Commenting on lessons learnt from the adverse weather conditions, the Dhalkout wali put stress on enhancing the capabilities of Dhalkout port where large ships can drop anchor in the event of emergency. “It will help restoration of supply of basic things even if the road link is disturbed and pave way for some business activities as well,” he said. He praised the efforts of the Omani civil defence, army, navy, air force and all other departments involved in the relief and restoration work. He called for proper guidance to tourists who visit Dhalkout during the Khareef season and put all the service and facilities in place well in advance.
(Pictures by Abdulrahim Subait and Hamed al Khatiri)