Cyclone Shaheen strikes parts of Oman and Iran

At least nine people were killed in Oman and Iran on Sunday as Tropical Cyclone Shaheen pummelled parts of their coastlines.

In Oman, two Asian workers were killed in a landslide that hit their housing area in an industrial zone as a result of the cyclone. A child who was swept away by storm surges was found dead, the state news agency said, and another person was missing.

“The eye of the tropical cyclone is currently entering between the states of Musanah and Suwaiq, accompanied by very heavy rain and strong winds. Wind speed on the wall of the cyclone is between 120-150km per hour [75-93 mph],” the state news agency reported.

Cyclone Shaheen prompted authorities to suspend flights to and from the capital Muscat and urge residents to evacuate coastal areas.

The cyclone is expected to “directly impact north Al-Batinah, Al Dhahira, Al Buraimi and Al Dakhliya”, a statement by the country’s weather agency said, adding Shaheen was downgraded to a tropical storm after it hit land in Oman.

‘Risk of high flooding’

According to Al Jazeera’s weather specialist Jeff Harrington, one of the biggest threats the 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 this is a mountainous area, so that means the rain falls high above and it gushes so the combination of both of these would lead to the risk of high flooding,” said Harrington.

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