Omanis, expats shifted to shelters
According to the Public Authority for Civil Aviation, heavy rains were expected to begin on Saturday night and continue throughout Sunday.
“We are ready to face it when it comes. We have already recorded more than 1,317 people in shelters - Omanis and expats - but this number is expected to rise.
“These shelters are for those who need it, as many people have already evacuated themselves and left their homes in lower areas, in particular Rakyout and Dhalkout, where many have self evacuated to stay with their relatives elsewhere,” Al Hajri added.
“There are 71 shelter centres in Dhofar and three in Al Wusta,” said Hamood Al Mandhari Coordinator for Relief and Shelter at the National Centre for Emergency Management, “Sixty-one shelters are working and ready to use in Dhofar, and 10 are on standby.”
There are currently 447 Omanis and 870 expats in shelters.
“On Saturday morning there were 800 people in shelters, by the afternoon that number increased to 1,317. By Sunday the figure could reach 4,000,” Al Mandhari added.
According to Al Mandhari, there are 18 opened shelters currently housing the public. Additional shelters will gradually be opened, based upon demand.
Authorities had begun preparing shelters beforehand. “What really helped us this time, is that this storm did not develop as fast as Mekunu, so we had enough time to prepare and make sure we reached the areas that were cut off before,” said Al Mandhari.
Shelters provide all the basic needs for the public, which include water, food, blankets, and pillows.
“As a start, we sent 25 tonnes of relief items to Rakhyut, 8 tonnes to Salalah and another 8 tonnes to Sadah,” noted Al Mandhari.
“We coordinated with the Oman Charitable Organisation and assigned four trucks to carry relief items to Rakyout Dhalkout, Sadah and, Salalah. We will increase the amount based on weather developments,” Al Mandhari said.
“Thanks to pre-deployment and proactive measures, responses has been fast, especially in the areas that were cut off during the previous cyclone, Mekunu,” Lt Col Al Hajri added.