Relief gathers momentum as rain flood many areas in Dhofar

SALALAH: Even as Salalah and adjoining areas are facing the danger of flooding under the influence of tropical depression, the Dhofar Municipality has put in place rescue and relief measures to open roads, remove blockages that are causing overflow in the wadis (Canals) and pumping out water from low lying residential areas.

According to Salalah Met Office, from Wednesday to Saturday Sadah remained highest with 194mm rain followed by Mirbat 184mm, Taqah 181.2mm, Salalah Airport 174.6mm, Qairoon Hairiti 136mm, Shlim 52.3mm, Thumrait 50.4mm, and Dhalqut 43.2mm.

In an Interview with the Observer, Dr Ahmed bin Mohsen al Ghassani, Chairman of Dhofar Municipality, said the civic body is fully prepared to tackle the situation arising out of the tropical depression.

“Our focus right now is to open all the closed roads by making way for the rain water, due to which the roads have been closed. Most of the roads now are open and traffic has been resumed,” he said.

Traffic has been restored on the road from Al-Nahda Tower roundabout to Umm Al Ghawarif Bridge in both directions.

The municipality is also working on clearing the blockages caused by the accumulated debris in certain some of the major wadis. The blockages are causing overflow and subsequent waterlogging on main roads.

The third and one of the most important challenges is to pump out water from some waterlogged residential areas. “We have put our pumps to clear water, but bigger pumps are needed for some areas. We have sought support from Muscat and as soon as big pumps arrive we will keep on removing water untill the impact of the tropical depression is over,” Dhofar Municipality Chairman said.

From right to left Salalah, Taqah, Sadah, Mirbat, Thumrait, Rakuat, Sahlim & halaniyat, Dhalkut
From right to left Salalah, Taqah, Sadah, Mirbat, Thumrait, Rakuat, Sahlim & halaniyat, Dhalkut

Dr Al Ghassani put stress on identifying dangerous roads and closing them for traffic until they are fully restored.

Meanwhile, the weather monitoring stations sounded possibility of high sea waves and heavy rains that might lead to flooding in the coastal areas of Dhofar Governorate.

Dhofar reported active winds with high-speed gusts – wind speed of 17 knots with active gusts of 45 knots, while active and high winds continue to blow during the coming hours.

The Wali of Taqah has informed citizens and residents in the coastal areas to move to safe places and evacuate the Wadi Darbat.

Latest Weather charts and the analysis of the National Multi Hazards Early Warning Center indicated that the Tropical depression located over Dhofar governorate with estimated surface wind speed around the center between 17 and 25 knots (30 to 45 Km/hr) with a chance to move to the West in the coming hours, said the Weather Bulletin 3 of Oman Meteorology.

The continuous of heavy rain (100-200 mm) during the next 24 hours associated with fresh to strong winds and flooding over low and coastal areas and increase in wadis flow with a reduction in horizontal visibility.

Chances of cloud advection and isolated rain (10 — 30 mm) over the southern parts of Al-Wusta Governorate and the sea conditions will be rough along with governorates of Dhofar (5-4 m), meanwhile along Al-Wusta and South Al-Sharqiyah (3 m).

The Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) has advised the public to take precautions and stay away from low lying areas, avoiding crossing wadis and avoid venture into the sea.