Although the effects of cyclone Mekunu in Dhofar region are receding, the public has been told to exercise caution while stepping out of their buildings.
According to Lt Col Faisal al Hajri, Director of National Emergency Management Centre (NEMC), as a safety measure it is better remain indoors in their buildings or the place of stay.
“There are two reasons for it – safety and trying to preserving life. Usually after such a cyclone there is so much of risk and hazard of people driving through the wadis and walking around not knowing about holes that are covered by water, he told Observer.
“We recommend that people stay at home until we ensure safety. Secondly, we now give priority to response, rescue and technical teams who have to work on the roads, power, communication and so forth. They need to accelerate their operations and start the rehabilitation process. So the recovery process might take about 12 to 16 hours. After that the public will be free with their movement. We will update the public through various channels,” Lt Col Al Hajri said.
Regarding the situation in the storm-hit Salalah, the director said that all the emergency teams have been deployed to assess the situation and the damages the cyclone has left behind.
“The damages have been caused at various parts of the governorate of Dhofar. The high rising water level and flash flood and debris had disrupted the transportation system”, he said.
“Telecommunication although was excellent because we did not have any black outs but we had some effects on Dalkut and Rakhyut due to power loss that was maintained for safety reasons. Each and every agency is working in parallel to assess the situation and begin maintenance of all critical and utility services immediately’,
He said that power supply personnel have been deployed to assess the damages, standby generators have been activated, and electricity poles have been fixed.
“They are ensuring power is back in the areas where they had to switch off electricity and other places where they had blackouts,” explained Lt Col Al Hajri.
According to him, in all, 33 oil tankers were deployed to fill the fuel stations in the Dhofar Governorate. In terms of road rehabilitation there has been a deployment of all critical assets units have been assessing the areas that have been damaged.
“We have managed to have 80 per cent of the roads open for traffic flow again. Within the next few hours we are hoping the roads will be widely accessible especially for emergency services and technical response teams who are working towards maintenance,” added the Director of NEMC.
More than 45 trucks were quickly mobilized to fill the stores and supermarkets with food and other items apart from supplying essentials to evacuees.
“We want to make sure we look after them until we know their dwellings and houses are safe to return. Various efforts had been taken the whole day. We are energized and excited that we could limit the loss of lives and damage as well as in number of missing people”, he said.
In regard to the images of cattle and livestock that were perished that had been circulating in the social media, the Director said they are still trying to get confirmation on the report and authenticity of the images. “At this stage we cannot confirm on this report. We are waiting for information from the authorities,” noted Lt Col Al Hajri.