Cyclone Shaheen approaches Oman | Weather News

Residents urged evacuation of coastal areas and authorities are delaying flights to and from the capital Muscat.

Tropical Cyclone Shaheen hits Oman, prompting authorities to postpone flights to and from the capital and urge residents to evacuate coastal areas.

The eye of the storm approached the capital Muscat on Sunday, surrounded by top winds of about 139 km/h (86 mph).

The cyclone is expected to “immediately impact northern Al-Batinah, Al Dhahira, Al Buraimi and Al Dakhliya,” a statement from the country’s weather bureau said on Sunday.

According to Al Jazeera weather expert Jeff Harrington, one of the biggest risks this cyclone poses is that in Oman’s desert climate, “the ground is bone dry, so it can’t absorb the rain.”

“The second part is that this is a mountainous area, so that means the rain falls high above and it gushes … so the combination of the two would lead to the risk of high flooding,” he added.

The center of the storm was expected to strike in the late afternoon and evening, with very strong winds and heavy rainfall, but the outer bands of the system are already being felt.

The national emergency committee said power would be cut in al-Qurm, east of the capital, to prevent accidents.

Most of the oil-exporting country’s five million people live in and around Muscat.

High waves break on Mutrah Boulevard in Omani’s capital Muscat [Haitham AL-Shukairi/ AFP]

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