Muscat, Oct 9 – Tropical storm Luban is moving towards the coast of Dhofar and Yemen, now classified as cyclonic storm, said officials at Oman Meteorology. This phenomenon is expected to bring heavy rainfall and winds with sea waves rising to a height of six to eight metres. Mohammed al Shaidani, senior meteorologist, told the Observer: “We are tracking the direction of Luban, which is likely to develop into a Category 1 cyclone by tomorrow (Wednesday).” According to him, it may intensify into Category 2 cyclone if the speed picks up and is likely to affect mostly the coastal areas of Salalah and Al Wusta. More than 300 mm of rainfall is estimated for Friday and Saturday. “Luban is currently moving between the border of Oman in Dhofar and Yemen. By October 15, it could move to Yemen,” said Al Shaidani.
Luban is 630 km away from the nearest coasts. According to Met Office, Dhofar and Al Wusta governorates will start witnessing its “indirect effects” from today, which include scattered rains. The National Multi-Hazard Early Warning Centre said the maximum wind speed of the storm has been 55 to 60 knots per hour around the center. The emergency committee of the Dhofar Municipality held a meeting to discuss preparations ahead of the storm. The National Emergency Management System held a meeting to enhance necessary resources and potentialities to limit the effects of Luban. It discussed ways to provide medical and life-saving services as well as other requirements to save people and property.
Dr Abdullah bin Nasser al Harrasi, Chairman of the Public Authority for Radio and TV (PART), said there will be special coverage on Luban in news bulletins, social networks, while awareness messages will be sent out to people. He made the announcement at a coordination meeting attended by officials from Executive Office of the National Civil Defence Committee and the National Multi-Hazard Early Warning Centre of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation. The National Multi-Hazard Early Warning Centre also gave a briefing on the possible effects of the storm. The Executive Office of the National Civil Defence Committee reviewed the efforts made by the National Emergency Management System to address the weather condition and the means of enhancing media coverage for it.
Lakshmi Kothaneth and Vinod Nair