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.


Jordan braces for more anti-austerity protests

Updated 13 December 2018
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Jordan braces for more anti-austerity protests

AMMAN: Jordanian authorities deployed hundreds of riot police in the capital and warned activists to stay within the law on Thursday ahead of another protest against the government's tough austerity measures backed by the International Monetary Fund.
Large demonstrations in the summer managed to bring down the previous government over an unpopular IMF-backed tax bill.
Protesters have held sporadic protests over the past two weeks and a judicial source said authorities had detained several people for chanting slogans critical of King Abdullah as well as the government.
"(For) anyone who breaches the law there will be punishment," government spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat told reporters on Thursday.
"There are those who want to sow destruction... We must safeguard Jordan's stability and security," she said, adding that the government wanted dialogue.
The latest protests eruped after a largely pliant parliament last month approved a tax bill widely seen as making few changes to the unpopular law scrapped after the summer demonstrations.
Many Jordanians say the government, which faces a record public debt of around $40 billion and desperately needs to raise revenue, is eroding the disposable incomes of poorer and middle class Jordanians while letting the wealthy off the hook.
The protesters complain that Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, appointed by King Abdullah after the summer protests, has not delivered on promises to jail corrupt officials and businessmen.
They also say he has sought public support for tough economic measures while failing to curb lavish public expenditure and improve public services, and that he should resign.
Jordan suffers from high unemployment, with regional conflicts weighing on business confidence. Poor economic growth has reduced tax revenues, forcing Jordan to borrow heavily abroad and also to resort to more domestic financing.