Luban to make landfall in Yemen today, more rains likely

Muscat - 

Luban lost some intensity on Saturday as it was downgraded to a tropical storm from a very severe tropical storm with the likelihood of it gaining strength again at the time of hitting the Yemeni coast between Mukalla and Al Ghaidah on Sunday.

Although sparing Oman from a direct onslaught, Luban brought occasional thundershowers across Dhofar on Saturday with heavy rains expected on Sunday in the governorate accompanied by strong winds ranging between 56km/hr and 83km/hr. With further rains expected on Sunday, the Ministry of Education announced that it is suspending classes in all schools in Dhofar.

“All schools in the Dhofar governorate will remain closed on Sunday, October 14, in the wake of unstable weather conditions due to tropical storm Luban. Classes will resume on Monday,” the ministry stated.

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The tropical storm Luban remained over the westcentral Arabian Sea moving nearly westwards during Saturday morning and lay centred over the westcentral Arabian Sea, near latitude 14.9°N and longitude 55.2°E. This is about 260km south-southeast of Salalah and 350km east-southeast of Al Ghaidah (Yemen) and 640km east-northeast of Riyan (Mukalla).

“Dhofar governorate is likely to be affected by heavy rain with thundershowers on Sunday with strong winds of 30-45knots (56-83km/hr) and gusting to gale winds over the mountainous areas. The sea continues to be rough with maximum wave height of 6-8m,” the Public Authority for Civil Aviation’s National Multi Hazard Early Warning Centre stated on Saturday. “The chances of indirect impact on the southern parts of Al Wusta continues with scattered rain and winds of 25 to 30 knots (46-56km/hr) expected on Sunday,” it said.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in its evening bulletin on Saturday stated that ‘the storm is very likely to move west-northwestwards and cross the Yemeni coast between Riyan (Mukalla) and Al Ghaidah (Yemen), close to 15°N during noon/afternoon of October 14, as a severe cyclonic storm’. “Gale-force winds reaching 100-110km/hr gusting to 125km/hr is very likely along and off Yemen and adjoining south Oman coasts at the time of landfall,” IMD added.

PACA warned people to take all precautions before venturing out. “Due to potential of heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds and probability of flash floods over the Governorate of Dhofar, we advise all to take full precautions and avoid low-lying areas, wadis and the sea during this period. Also, follow our latest weather bulletins to keep up to date on the climatic conditions.”

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