Cyclone Mekunu Oman 2018: Powerfull Cyclone Mekunu destroys Yemeni Island on its Ways to Oman - Cyclone Mekunu pounds Yemen island on its path to Oman With winds gusting up to 155 kph (96 mph) - Cyclone Mekunu pounded the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea on Thursday morning, lashing it with heavy rain and strong winds as the powerful storm remained on path to strike Oman this weekend. At least 17 people were reported missing.
With winds gusting up to 155 kph (96 mph), meteorologists expected the “very severe” cyclone to strike Oman on Saturday near Salalah, the sultanate’s third-largest city and home to some 200,000 people near the country’s border with Yemen.
“It is very likely to intensify further during next 24 hours,” India’s Meteorological Department warned in a Thursday morning bulletin. It said gusts from the storm will likely reach 185 kph (115 mph) by Saturday.
There was no immediate word from Socotra, though Yemen’s pro-government SABA news agency reported that 17 people were missing after two ships capsized in the storm and three vehicles washed away. It said Yemen’s government, exiled in Saudi Arabia, had declared Socotra a “disaster” zone after the storm.
Rajeh Bady, a spokesman for the exiled government, said the island was in need of “urgent” aid, according to SABA.
The island, listed by UNESCO as a world natural heritage site, has been the focus of a dispute between the United Arab Emirates and Yemen’s internationally recognized government amid that country’s war after Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, seized the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.
Saudi troops recently deployed on Socotra as a confidence-building measure over complaints by Yemen’s government that the UAE deployed troops there without its permission.
Socotra is known for its flower-and-fruit-bearing dragon blood trees, which resemble umbrellas. The tree gets its name from the dark red sap it secretes.
A cyclone is the same as a hurricane or a typhoon; their names only change because of their location. Hurricanes are spawned east of the international date line. Typhoons develop west of the line. They are known as cyclones in the Indian Ocean and Australia.
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