Cyclone death toll in Oman, Yemen rises to 11: authorities

1 / 5
A picture taken on May 26, 2018, shows a car stuck in a flooded street in the southern city of Salalah as the country prepared for landfall of Cyclone Mekunu. (AFP/Mohammed Mahjoub)
2 / 5
A picture taken on May 26, 2018, shows a flooded street in the southern city of Salalah as the country prepared for landfall of Cyclone Mekunu. (AFP/Mohammed Mahjoub)
3 / 5
A picture taken on May 25, 2018, shows cars driving through a flooded street in the southern city of Salalah as the country prepared for landfall of Cyclone Mekunu. (AFP/Mohammed Mahjoub)
4 / 5
A picture taken on May 25, 2018, shows high waves breaking along the shore in the southern city of Salalah as the country prepared for landfall of Cyclone Mekunu. (AFP/Mohammed Mahjoub)
5 / 5
A picture taken on May 26, 2018, shows a flooded street in the southern city of Salalah as the country prepares for landfall of Cyclone Mekunu. (AFP/Mohammed Mahjoub)
Updated 27 May 2018
0

Cyclone death toll in Oman, Yemen rises to 11: authorities

  • Cyclone Mekunu left a path of distruction, flooding towns and causing extensive damage
  • One of the dead is a 12-year-old girl who was hit in the head with a door that blew open

SALALAH, Oman: The death toll from a cyclone that battered southern Oman and the Yemeni island of Socotra has reached 11, while eight sailors are still missing, authorities said.
Cyclone Mekunu hit Oman’s Dhofar and Al-Wusta provinces on Friday after intensifying from a category one to a category two cyclone, with winds of up to 170 kilometers (over 100 miles) per hour after it made landfall on Socotra on Thursday.
Oman’s civil defense service on Saturday reported two deaths, adding to an earlier toll of a man and a 12-year-old girl.
“The third is an Asian man who was missing but his body was found late Saturday in Dhofar” province, spokesman Lt. Col. Saeed Al-Badaei said at a press conference late Saturday.
“The fourth is a young Omani man who was swept away in his car by flooding,” he added.
Socotra’s governor Ramzy Mahrous said on Sunday that the death toll on the island remained seven — five Yemenis and two Indian sailors. A further eight Indian sailors remain missing.
The southeastern part of the island remains cut off, but authorities are working to access the area and assess damage, Mahrous told AFP.
Around 1,000 families on Socotra, with a population of around 60,000, were evacuated after their homes were damaged.
The main road linking the airport to Hadibo, the island’s main city, has been reopened, Mahrous said.
Oman’s meteorology directorate announced late Saturday that “the direct effects of the tropical system are over.”
Cyclone Mekunu has now been downgraded to the category of “deep depression.”
Late Saturday it struck Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter, one of the world’s most arid deserts, with ongoing heavy rains and strong winds.
The Saudi meteorological authority said on Twitter Sunday that winds blew at 60 kilometers (over 35 miles) per hour, kicking up blinding dust storms.
Rains are expected to continue for two more days, drenching the area with more than 100 millimeters (four inches) of rain, almost six times its annual average, Amman-based weather experts WASM said on Twitter.


Walk or die: Algeria abandons 13,000 migrants in the Sahara

Updated 21 min 33 sec ago
0

Walk or die: Algeria abandons 13,000 migrants in the Sahara

  • The expelled migrants can be seen coming over the horizon by the hundreds, appearing at first as specks in the distance under temperatures of up to 48 degrees Celsius
  • Algeria's mass expulsions have picked up since October 2017, as the European Union renewed pressure on North African countries to head off migrants going north to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea or the barrier fences with Spain

ASSAMAKA, Niger: Algeria has abandoned more than 13,000 migrants in the Sahara Desert over the past 14 months, expelling them without food or water and forcing them to walk for hours or even days.
They include pregnant women and children. The Associated Press interviewed over two dozen survivors of the deportations in Niger.
Nearly all said they saw fellow migrants collapse during the walk, where temperatures reach up to 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit). They never saw the missing migrants again.
The lucky make it within a few hours to the nearest village across borders in Niger and, more recently, Mali. But many wander for days.
Algeria denies mistreating the migrants.
But their accounts are confirmed by multiple videos collected by the AP showing hundreds of people stumbling into empty desert.