SALALAH, May 23 – After sudden thickening of clouds and early disappearance of sun in Salalah, long queues of cars were seen at all the petrol stations as no one was seem to be taking chance. It was taking 20-30 minutes for a driver to reach the fuel station after allowing about 10-15 cars to get the privilege of coming first. A busy petrol station attendant admitted that people started pouring suddenly as sale up to early afternoon was normal. “Everyone was getting his tank full. So it was taking time in clearing the customers in waiting,” he said, adding that there was enough stock to meet the demand.
RUSH AT HYPERMARKETS: Meanwhile, all the supermarkets and hypermarkets witnessed rush for ‘cyclone shopping’ due to stronger warnings coming from the Met department about the landfall of the tropical storm Mekunu. Though the alerts were coming for quite some time, the residents realised its possible advent after sudden change in weather on Wednesday evening.
Most of the shoppers made it a point to get groceries, candles, match boxes, lighters and rechargeable emergency lights and torches.
Thus, these items were huge in demand at all the shopping outlets. The duty managers were seen assuring the customers not to panic as there is enough stock of grocery items with them. A ground duty manager at Lulu Hypermarket admitted that all sorts of non-perishable items like rice, beaten rice, pulses, and all kinds of breads, biscuits, cakes and sugar were top on every buyer’s list.
“We were not taking the storm warnings seriously until we got office circulars to keep our documents and other stuff safe following storm warnings coming from different sources,” said John who works in a private company in Salalah.
A shopper admitted that to avoid rush in one supermarket he went to another and found even more crowd and time spent in billing and payment was much more than regular days. There is no apparent stock shortage in any of the supermarkets due to Ramadhan coinciding with the storm warning and all of them are maintaining good stock to meet Ramadhan demand.