Sultanate braces for cyclone Luban

Salalah, Oct 10 – Salalah has been experiencing a sudden change in weather in terms of temperature and wind speed. The weather has become dry and hot. “Temperatures are likely to rise if the north-easterly wind conditions continue to prevail before the onset of cyclonic storm Luban, the movement of which is slow. As per current indications, it is expected to head towards Dhofar and Al Wusta governorates in Oman, Yemen or Gulf of Aden,” said a source at Salalah Met Office. Luban’s current northwest track is likely to shift to the west, taking the cyclone between Socotra and the Yemen coastline.

Meanwhile, stakeholders responsible for the security and safety of citizens and residents held another round of meeting to assess readiness in the event of adverse weather conditions. “We are taking all possible measures to keep safe our facilities, customers and manpower at the Port of Salalah. As mentioned yesterday (Tuesday), we are assessing the situation and have communicated to all the non-essential personnel and vessels to vacate the port well in advance before the storm strikes,” said Mohammed bin Aufit al Mashani, General Manager Corporate Affairs, Port of Salalah.

He cleared the port’s position of ‘safety first’ and its emergency readiness for any urgent situation. “A dedicated committee keeps an eye on weather condition, which is crucial to the port and movement of ships,” he said. A source at the Salalah Airport admitted to have learnt “good lessons” from cyclone Mekunu, “which not only tested the airport’s readiness, but also made us realise the areas we can work on to keep the facility safe”.

“The airports have a system in place to meet any eventuality. We work in co-ordination with all stakeholders like the airlines, commercial tenants, civil defence, internal security mechanism, fire, tower, etc. Due to proper co-ordination, it becomes easier to take a quick decision,” said the source. “The airports are equipped with navigation and weather aids, which help in diverting flights to the nearest airports in the event of any emergency.” To keep the health services pro-active, the Emergency and Disaster Committee of the Health Services met on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Dr Khalid al Mushekhi, Director-General of Health Service in Dhofar.

As head of the Medical Response Team in the Governorate, Dr Al Mushekhi met all the committee members and took stock of the readiness of all the services. He directed the committee members to take all the necessary measures to develop plans for dealing with the ensuing climatic conditions. The meeting emphasised the readiness of health institutions in the various governorates of Dhofar and Sultan Qaboos Hospital in Salalah, which is considered the reference hospital in the governorate.

National Feed, which is located in Raysut Industrial Area, has taken all possible safety steps in the wake of Cyclone Luban forecast. Mohamed Amer al Mashani, CEO National Feed, laid emphasis on the safety of the company employees. “We are making sure that all our employees are secured. In addition, we have decided to shut down the operation and electricity during the cyclone strike. We have formed an emergency team which will be coordinating with each other and ensure safety of our people and company.”

Kaushalendra Singh