At least 6 people have been reported dead and dozens of others missing in Oman and Yemen following Tropical Cyclone Mekunu, according to officials early Sunday.
The cyclone made landfall in Oman early Saturday, killing four people in the country's third largest city, Salalah. In the neighboring Yemeni island, Socotra – a UNESCO as a World Heritage Site – two people were reported dead, over 30 others missing, ships overturned, vehicles washed away and the only road between the capital and Hadiboh to the Socotra Airport was destroyed.
"It was a scary feeling, as if it was the end of world," Mohammed Omer Baomer, an Omani resident, told AP. "You can't even go outside. You try to watch from the window and you can't."
Mekunu brought winds of over 170 kilometers and dumped up to 11 inches of rain on Salalah – which normally averages about 5 inches annually – in a 24-hour period causing extensive flooding and damage.
Some roads were torn away while others were submerged, streetlights downed and roofs ripped off in Salalah. The Times of Oman reported that a number of landslides were also triggered and dozens of people had to be rescued from vehicles trapped in the floodwaters and at least 27 had to be rescued from flooded homes.
Governor of al-Mahra province in Oman, Rageh Bakrit, said winds had destroyed houses and taken out communication lines and water services.
Several emergency rescues had to be carried out by the Oman Royal Police and Socotra authorities have relocated over 230 families.
Mekunu, one of the strongest to hit the Middle Eastern country, was recorded as being equivalent to a category 3 hurricane.
The cyclone has weakened while traveling on a north to the northwest path, with the storm eye away from Saudi Arabia, according to the Saudi Press Agency.