Oman closes schools, ports in south while Yemen prepares for cyclone Luban

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Oman is on alert after the meteorology center upgraded Luban to tropical cyclone category one while Yemen issued a warning. (Photo courtesy/ Oman Meteorology PACA)
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Updated 11 October 2018
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Oman closes schools, ports in south while Yemen prepares for cyclone Luban

  • Health authorities in Yemen’s western province of Mahrah have taken precautionary measures
  • Oman has closed schools and ports in the southern part of the country

DUBAI: Oman has closed schools and ports in the southern part of the country while Yemen’s local authorities prepared health facilities ahead of cyclone Luban.

Health authorities in Yemen’s western province of Mahrah took precautionary measures and have called on hospitals, medical staff and emergency services to be on alert.

“We have coordinated with local authorities in preparation for cyclone Luban to ensure the safety of citizens,” the Director General of the Ministry of Public Health and Population, Awad Mubarak Saad, told Arab News.

Residents in the area have been told to stay in safe places and to avoid valleys and other areas likely to flood in anticipation of severe weather in the coming hours.

Meanwhile, the director general of Salalah port ceased all operations on Thursday morning while schools in Dhofar province were shut down. Local authorities have said that school buildings would be used as shelters if needed as fears grew of the cyclone.

A meeting was also held at Salalah airport to discuss potential impacts of Luban, Times of Oman reported.

Meteorological experts said coastal areas in southern Oman are expected to receive heavy rain and high winds, with waves reaching heights of six to eight meters.  

Luban, which is currently a category one cyclone, is likely to develop into a Category 2 cyclone within the next 48 hours, Oman’s Public Authority of Civil Aviation said on Wednesday.

Luban is traveling northwest, and cloud bands of the cyclone are currently 327 kilometers away from the coast of Oman.


US-backed Syria offensive kills 35 Daesh fighters: monitor

Updated 20 October 2018
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US-backed Syria offensive kills 35 Daesh fighters: monitor

BEIRUT: An offensive by US-backed forces against Daesh’s last redoubt in eastern Syria killed 35 militants on Saturday, a Britain-based war monitor said.
Twenty-eight Daesh members were killed in air strikes by the US-led coalition around the town of Hajjin, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Another seven militants were killed in ground fighting with the Syrian Democratic Forces, who launched a coalition-backed offensive against the Daesh-held pocket in the Euphrates Valley last month.
Fighting has killed 414 militants and 227 SDF fighters in total since the assault began on September 10, the Observatory said.
Coalition air strikes on Daesh targets in another part of the pocket on Thursday and Friday killed at least 41 civilians, 10 of them children, the monitor said.
Daesh overran large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” across the land it controlled.
But the militant group has since lost most of its territory to various offensives in both countries.
In Syria, its presence has been reduced to parts of the vast Badia desert and the Hajjin pocket in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor near the Iraqi border.
Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.