Cyclone Phet kills 12 in Oman
Cyclone Phet killed 12 people and left one missing in Oman before barrelling towards Pakistan, the head of Oman's civil defence force said today.world Updated: Jun 05, 2010 19:20 IST
Cyclone Phet killed 12 people and left one missing in Oman before barrelling towards Pakistan, the head of Oman's civil defence force said on Saturday.
Nine Omanis and three expatriates were killed by the storm, General Malek al-Muammari told Omani state television.
He said that one of the three dead expatriates was from Bangladesh and a second was from Pakistan, while the nationality of the third was unknown.
An earlier statement on the official ONA news agency had said that victims included six people, among them a civil defence member, who were swept away by flood waters caused by rainfall from the cyclone.
Authorities said Phet had weakened in intensity on Friday before heading at wind speeds of up to 120 kilometres (75 miles) an hour towards Pakistan, where some 60,000 people have been evacuated from the south coast to safer areas.
The situation in Oman appeared to be returning to normal on Saturday. An AFP correspondent said that the rain had stopped and skies were relatively clear over Muscat and in most of the affected areas on Oman's eastern coast.
Rescue teams were working to reopen roads, restore electricity and repair water mains damaged by floodwaters, Muammari said in a statement carried by ONA.
Before the cyclone, the Omani authorities had taken several precautionary measures, evacuating hotels along the east coast and airlifting the residents of Masirah island to safer areas.
The islanders were beginning to return on Saturday, Muammari said on state television.
In 2007, cyclone Gonu tore through Oman, killing at least 49 people and causing damage estimated at 3.9 billion dollars.