MUSCAT, APRIL 13 – Heavy to medium rains that lashed different parts of the Sultanate on Saturday evening are expected to continue on Sunday as well, prompting the authorities to issue warnings over flash flooding. According to reports from different regions, including Muscat, heavy rains led to flooded streets and overflowing wadis on Saturday night, disrupting normal life and throwing traffic out of gear in some areas. An official from the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulances (PACDA) said that effective measures are in place against the likely impact of the thunderstorms that accompanies the rains. “Citizens and residents need to exercise caution during the rains”, he said.
As a precautionary measure, all private and government schools in Oman, except in the governorates of Dhofar and Al Wusta, will be closed on Sunday, April 14. The decision was made after warnings were issued by the Public Authority for Civil Aviation that the weather may take a turn for the worse in the next 24 hours. Based on the latest weather updates, the Ministry of Manpower has suspended classes in technical and vocational colleges in all governorates except in Dhofar Governorate. The administrations of Sultan Qaboos University and Sohar University have decided to suspend classes on Sunday.
According to Oman Met Office, presently clouds cover most parts of northern governorates of Oman with chances of sporadic or isolated rains along with occasional thundershowers. “The rains are expected to be accompanied by hail and flashfloods over Muscat, Musandam, North Al Batinah, South Al Batinah, Al Dakhiliyah, North Al Sharqiyah, South Al Sharqiyah, Al Dhahirah and Al Buraimi. On Saturday North Al Batinah, South Al Batinah, Al Buraimi, Al Dhahirah and Eastern part of Musandam received major amount of the rainfall. The Met office also issued alerts on chances of dust rising winds over desert and open areas. It warned that horizontal visibility could be poor during rain and dust rising.
“The expectation for the rainfall is between 30 and 75 mm in many governorates,” explained a weather expert at Oman Met Office. The Muscat Municipality has issued a warning advising people to stay away from electricity poles and pools of water as the weather is predicted to worsen further. In an online statement the Municipality said, “Citizens and residents are urged to be careful, stay away from pools of water that is likely to be accumulated around electrical complexes and the poles nearby in order to avoid being electrocuted.” The civic directorate at Al Seeb carried out cleaning work for a number of valleys and waterways in the main streets. The municipality has also machineries and other equipment which are required for suction of water in case an emergency arise.