Super cyclone Phet pounding Oman
The entire coastline of Pakistan is now within the expected track of the storm. Additionally, the Strait of Hormuz is now within the cone of uncertainty. While it is still unlikely that the Strait would be hit directly by Phet, the potential that severe weather would be experienced in the area is more probable.
Dangerous Tropical Cyclone Phet Nears Oman, May Curve to Pakistan (AccuWeather)
A powerful tropical cyclone may lead to a natural disaster, threatening millions of lives along the northern Arabian Seacoast in the Middle East today into the weekend.
Topical Cyclone Phet, in the Arabian Sea, will slam into northeastern Oman tonight, before shifting its track to the east, possibly bringing it near Karachi, Pakistan, over the weekend.
Phet, the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane, with its sustained winds of around 132 mph and gusts to 160 mph as of early Thursday morning, EDT, was nearing the island of Masira just off the coast of Oman.
The storm is expected to curve to the northeast. However, this should not occur until the storm center passes over the northeastern tip of Oman, between the island of Masirah and Sur tonight into Friday.
The storm threatens to unleash destruction from high winds, pounding surf and torrential rain on a location that typically receives only a few inches of rain per year. Conditions in northeastern Oman will deteriorate today as the storm approaches.
People who live on the eastern coast of Oman should have preparations in place for evacuation and or secure shelter. As always please follow the orders and guidance of local emergency personnel. The strength of this storm is very severe, much more severe than is typical for this area of the world.
Heavy rains hit Oman as cyclone Phet approaches (AFP)
Heavy rains hit Oman's east coast on Thursday as cyclone Phet approached the sultanate pushing up from the Arabian Sea and authorities raised the alert level to orange.
The cyclone, rated at a factor of 3.5 on a scale of five, was moving northwestward at a speed of eight kilometres (five miles) an hour. Winds were blowing at a 180 kilometres (112 miles) an hour.
Hotels along the east coast of the sultanate have been evacuated, the ministry of tourism said, and the residents of Masirah island were airlifted to safer areas.
The eye of Phet was still around 150 kilometres (93 miles) away from Masirah.
Phet is expected to bring extremely heavy rain to an area of the world that generally receives only light rain throughout the year. The rain will cause flooding that could turn the dry stream beds, called wadis, into raging rivers of water.