Indians among 10 dead, several missing as Cyclone Mekunu strikes Yemen, Oman

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Huge floods engulfed the southern Omani city of Salalah on Friday, as Cyclone Mekunu edged closer to landfall with category-three hurricane winds battering the coastline.

Alongside loss of life, damage has been severe, as Mekunu slammed into several popular urban and tourist destinations along the Arabian Sea, with flash flooding destroying entire roadways in Oman's third-largest city of Salalah.

The cyclone is marching onwards straight towards the south coast of Oman. The Arabian Sea churned Saturday morning, sending mounds of sea foam into the air.

The Emirati presence on the island began in 2015 as a relief effort after a similar cyclone hit Socotra.

The port of Salalah is closed for 72 hours and the airport is closed for at least 24 hours throughout Friday.

Salalah's port and airport have been closed in anticipation of the storm, while some phone companies offering free messages to residents.

Meanwhile, considering the situation, based on the directions from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said due to climate conditions, the Ministry of Manpower has declared holidays on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for both public and private sectors in the Dhofar Governorate.

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Socotra Gov. Ramzy Mahrous said one ship sank and two others ran aground in the storm, initially saying authorities believed 17 people were missing.

According to Oman police, a man died after floods swept him away and a 12-year old girl died when a gust of wind smashed her into a wall. Some humanitarian aid from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates arrived on the island just hours after the cyclone receded.

In neighbouring Oman, authorities announced through the official news agency they were taking "necessary precautions" in case the cyclone hits the Gulf sultanate.

Landfall was expected later Friday near the border of mainland Yemen and Oman.

Socotra has a unique ecosystem and is home to rare plants, snails and reptiles that can be found nowhere else on the planet.

The powerful Cyclone Mekunu hit the coastal town of Salalah, Oman in the evening yesterday and the videos that surfaced on the internet looked downright scary.

In 2007, Cyclone Gonu tore through Oman, killing at least 49 people and causing damage estimated at $3.9 billion.

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