Tropical storm threatens coastal cities of Oman, Yemen

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Dubbed Luban, the storm is expected to become a category 1 Tropical Cyclone within the next 12 hours. (Photo courtesy: met.gov.om)
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Dubbed Luban, the storm is expected to become a category 1 Tropical Cyclone within the next 12 hours. (Photo courtesy: met.gov.om)
Updated 09 October 2018
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Tropical storm threatens coastal cities of Oman, Yemen

  • Oman’s and Yemen’s Meteorology centers have released warnings on the tropical storm heading towards the Arabian Peninsula
  • Luban is currently over the Arabian Sea about 830 km away from Salalah city

DUBAI: The southern coastal cities of Oman and Yemen are bracing themselves for a battering as Tropical Storm Luban heads their way just months after Cyclone Mekunu left a path of destruction, killing 30 people and dozens more missing.
It is not clear what direction the storm will take, but if it hits Oman, forecasters say it will be as strong Cyclone Mekunu.

Both Oman’s and Yemen’s Meteorology centers have released warnings on the tropical storm heading towards the Arabian Peninsula.

Dubbed Luban, the storm is expected to become a category 1 Tropical Cyclone within the next 12 hours.

Luban is currently over the Arabian Sea about 830 km away from Salalah city, with surface wind speeds of 50 to 55 knots (93 to 102 kmph).

Oman’s Meteorology specialist, Hamood Al-Naabiya, told Arab News the coastal areas that would be affected will be the western coast of Dhofar governorate and the Gulf of Aden, passing north of UNESCO protected Socotra island.

Al-Naabiya said that once the speed of the winds exceeded 64 knots, Luban would be upgraded to a level one cyclone.

“This tropical storm seems to be heading towards the Gulf of Aden and if it does, the destructive effects will be less than the previous storm,” Al-Naabiya said, referencing Cyclone Mekunu.

“But if it came towards Oman, it will be similar to Cyclone Mekunu,” he added.

In May Cyclone Mekunu ripped through the Yemeni island of Socotra, causing severe flooding, and extensive damage including six ships that sank - four at sea. Flood waters washed away thousands of animals and cut electricity and communication lines. Cyclone Mekunu then moved onto Salalah where whole areas of beach were washed a way, as were roads, power cables and properties damaged.

At the end of the week Mekunu had left 30 people dead - including a 12-year-old girl in Oman, while dozens of others were missing.

A picture taken on May 26, 2018, shows a car stuck in a flooded street in the southern city of Salalah as the country prepares for landfall of Cyclone Mekunu. (AFP)

Yemen’s Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority has said that Luban – which is moving at 11kmh - is expected to turn into a severe cyclone storm in the upcoming hours.

Warnings of severe sea winds have been issued to commercial ships in the area.

But despite the potential storm, Anwar Al-Shahri, a resident in Salalah who works in the hospitality industry said all remained calm in the tourist city.

“The weather is great, and tourists are still coming into the city, nothing has changed yet,” he said. 

While James Hewitson, general manager of the five-star hotel Al-Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, told Arab News that although they were prepared, he did not think there was much to worry about. 

“It will probably just be like a British summer's day,” he said. 


Egypt opens museum to honor Naguib Mahfouz

Foreign visitor reads the biography of the late Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz after the official opening of the museum in Cairo, Egypt, July 14, 2019. Picture taken July 14, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 30 sec ago
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Egypt opens museum to honor Naguib Mahfouz

  • The two-storey building in Cairo’s Gamaliya district is near to where the author was born and the area was the inspiration for many of his stories and characters

CAIRO: A museum commemorating the life and works of Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz has opened in Cairo, nearly 13 years after the Nobel laureate’s death.
The Naguib Mahfouz Museum and Creativity Centre houses the belongings and personal library of Mahfouz, who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature — the only Arab to do so.
The center, in a redeveloped building dating back to 1774, had been planned for years but had been delayed by financial and other issues.
“I hope this museum becomes a center of cultural radiation and a tourist attraction,” Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem said at the opening ceremony.
The two-storey building in Cairo’s Gamaliya district is near to where the author was born and the area was the inspiration for many of his stories and characters.

“I hope this museum becomes a center of cultural radiation and a tourist attraction.”

                                       Inas Abdel Dayem, Egypt’s culture minister

As well as displaying some of his personal belongings and handwritten texts, the museum includes a hall containing all his works, in modern and old editions, as well as seminar rooms, an audiovisual library and a library housing research and studies on Mahfouz’s works. His Nobel medal, however, is not on display and remains with his family.
Mahfouz’s daughter Umm Kulthum, who attended the opening, said she was happy that the dream of building the museum had been realized “after years of waiting.”