Oma­nis, ex­pats shifted to shel­ters

Times of Oman - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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