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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Death toll in Cyclone Shaheen now 13 as storm churns in Oman

Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan province saw 122 people go to the hospital Sunday after a dust storm spun up by the cyclone caused them to suffer from eye, heart and lung problem.

By: AP | Dubai |
October 4, 2021 6:18:26 pm
Parking of Al Qurum Complex is flooded as Cyclone Shaheen makes the landfall. (Reuters)

The death toll from Cyclone Shaheen rose to 13 on Monday while other fishermen from Iran remained missing as the storm moved further inland into Oman and weakened.

Authorities in Oman said they found the body of a man who disappeared when floodwaters swept him away from his vehicle. On Sunday as the storm made landfall, they said a child similarly drowned and two foreigners from Asia died in a landslide. The country’s National Committee for Emergency Management announced Monday afternoon seven additional deaths from the storm, without elaborating.

In Iran, the state-run IRNA news agency said rescuers found the bodies of two of five fishermen who went missing off Pasabandar, a fishing village near the Islamic Republic’s border with Pakistan. Earlier on Sunday, Iranian deputy parliament speaker Ali Nikzad said he feared as many as six fishermen had been killed because of the cyclone.

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Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province also saw 122 people go to the hospital Sunday after a dust storm spun up by the cyclone caused them to suffer from eye, heart and lung problems, said Abbasali Arjmandi, the governor of the city of Zabol. Eighteen needed to be hospitalised for further care, he said.

India’s Meteorological Department, the top forecasters for cyclones that sweep across the Indian Ocean, said winds from Shaheen now gust up to 90 kph (55 mph) and would continue to weaken. It predicted the storm would weaken into a tropical depression in the coming hours. Shaheen made landfall with winds reaching up to 150 kph (93 mph).

Omani state television broadcast images of flooded roadways and valleys as the storm churned deeper into the sultanate, its outer edges reaching the neighboring United Arab Emirates. The Emirates, home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, had issued warnings to residents that the storm was coming. Winds had picked up in the country from Sunday, sweeping across the grounds of Dubai’s newly opened Expo 2020.

A cyclone is the same as a hurricane or a typhoon; their names only change because of their location. Hurricanes are spawned east of the international date line. Typhoons develop west of the line. They are known as cyclones in the Indian Ocean and Australia.

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