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Tuesday, October 26

Cyclone Phet kills 12 in Oman: civil defence

MUSCAT: Cyclone Phet killed 12 people and left one missing in Oman before it barrelled on towards Pakistan, the head of Oman's civil defence force said on
Nine Omanis and three expatriates were killed by the storm, General Malek al-Muammari told Oman's state television.
An earlier statement on the official ONA news agency had said that victims included six people, among them a civil defence member, who were swept away by flood waters caused by rainfall from the cyclone.
Authorities said Phet had weakened in intensity on Friday before heading at wind speeds of up to 120 kilometres (75 miles) an hour towards Pakistan, where some 60,000 people have been evacuated from the south coast to safer areas.
The situation in Oman appeared to be returning to normal on Saturday. An AFP correspondent said that the rain had stopped and skies were relatively clear over Muscat and in most of the affected areas on Oman's eastern coast.
Rescue teams were working to reopen roads, restore electricity and repair water mains damaged by floodwaters, Muammari said in a statement carried by ONA.
Before the cyclone, the Omani authorities had taken several precautionary measures, evacuating hotels along the east coast and airlifting the residents of Masirah island to safer areas.
Residents of the island were beginning to return on Saturday, Muammari said on state television.
In 2007, cyclone Gonu tore through Oman, killing at least 49 people and causing damage worth 3.9 billion dollars.

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