19 dead including 12 children as heavy rains continues to lash Oman

Oman Monday 15/April/2024 19:34 PM
By: Times News Service
19 dead including 12 children as  heavy rains continues to lash Oman

Muscat: Heavy rains continued to lash Oman on Monday, killing at least 19 people in North Al Sharqiyah and Adam, official sources said on Monday.

Official sources said that 16 people were killed in North Al Sharqiyah while three people were found dead in the Wilayat of Adam on Monday.

The dead include 12 children and one woman from Samad Al Shan from the Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi.

Holiday in five governorates

In view of the adverse weather condition, the government decided to suspend work on Tuesday, 16 April 2024, for employees in units of the State’s civil administrative apparatus and for workers in private sector establishments in the governorates of Musandam, Al Buraimi, Al Dhahirah, North Al Batinah and Al Dakhiliyah.

In other governorates, online work can be done if it is not possible for employees to physically attend office.

No classes

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has extended the suspension of classes in all governorates except Dhofar and Al Wusta on Tuesday due to the inclement weather affecting the Sultanate.

In a statement, MoE said, ‘All public, private and international schools across all governorates will remain closed on Tuesday, April 16, due to unstable weather conditions. However, this decision does not apply to Dhofar and Al Wusta governorates. The ministry has advised that classes can be conducted online based on the capabilities of the school.’

Rescue Work

Besides these deaths, thousands of people were rescued by the search and rescue teams in Oman in the last couple of days.

In Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi, more than 1,000 people were transferred from a school after the rain water level rose.

In a statement, the Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority (CDAA), said, “Rescue teams from the Civil Defence and Ambulance Department in North Al Sharqiyah Governorate, in cooperation with the relevant authorities and citizens, transferred 1,200 people from a school in the Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi after the rain water level rose. All of them are in good health.”

In Quriyat, the Royal Oman Police (ROP), rescued more than 20 people as they were unable to reach their homes as they were caught up in a wadi.

According to ROP, the police aviation carried out an operation and transported 21 people from the farms.

Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed bin Salam Al Hashami, the official spokesman for the National Centre for Emergency Management (NCEM), said the centre received 78 distress calls since Sunday morning.

He pointed out that rains are concentrated in the governorates of North al Sharqiyah, South al Sharqiyah, Al Dakhiliyah, and South al Batinah, stressing that the search is still ongoing for the missing persons.

As several governorates witnessed torrential rains on Monday, there were few instances of vehicles getting stranded in the flowing water or flash floods.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) advises all to exercise maximum caution during thunderstorms, avoid crossing wadis (flash floods), avoid low lying areas and avoid venturing into the sea during the alert period.

Medical Response Sector Ready

The sector of medical response and public health has affirmed its readiness to deal with the current adverse weather condition that is currently impacting various governorates in the Sultanate of Oman.

The sector devised a plan to ensure sustained services at health institutions in the impacted areas.

Dr. Mohammed Saif Al Bousafi, the centre’s coordinator at the National Committee for Emergency Management (NCEM), told Oman News Agency (ONA) that an emergency operations chamber has been activated and that coordination is underway with departments that provide electric power backup to health institutions in the affected areas.

Al Bousafi added that the overall aim is to secure sustained services to citizens and residents at health institutions and to spare employees and patients any potential risks.

Al Bousafi also affirmed the availability of basic services, medical supplies and medicines in health institutions and warehouses in the affected governorates.

 He added that a plan was set to augment the capacity of Ibra Hospital in response to reports of some people being stranded or missing in inundated sectors of adjoining valleys.

Al Bousafi pointed out that measures were undertaken to maintain communication and coordination with operation units of the Royal Oman Police and the Royal Air Force of Oman so that they could lend support when needed.

Acting in coordination with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the authorities have also devised epidemic preparedness plans to be implemented in the aftermath of the climatic condition, Al Bousafi explained.

On Sunday, health institutions in North A’Sharqiyah Governorate dealt with various casualties, including 13 deaths, Al Bousafi said.

He added that recent health emergencies included a dystocia (obstructed childbirth) case of a woman in labour who had to be airlifted from Jaalan Bani Bu Hassan Hospital to Sur Hospital and four medical emergency cases that were airlifted from Wadi Hatt to A'Rustaq Hospital.

Al Bousafi said that, as a precautionary measure, some health institutions in contingency-prone areas were closed, including Al Rahma Hospital in Muscat Governorate, Al-Oyoun Health Centre, Wadi Nam Health Centre in North Al Sharqiyah Governorate and Al Bashaer Health Centre in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate.