Cyclone Gonu kills 28


Summary

Oman has began clearing up after it was lashed by Cyclone Gonu, which killed up to 28 people and seriously damaged the Gulf state's infrastructure.

Oman state television reported 25 people dead.

Twenty-six people were also reported missing.

Gonu also killed three people in Iran, where tens of thousands of people hunkered down in shelters.

Officials said more than 40,000 people were evacuated from coastal areas in southern provinces to higher ground.

A police spokesman, who had earlier given a toll of 20 dead, said that half of those killed had drowned in flooding caused by torrential rain and that police and army helicopters were searching for the missing.

Cyclone Gonu hit Iran and the south-western tip of Pakistan after battering Oman yesterday.

Damage

The fiercest storm to hit the region for 30 years left a trail of destruction along the east coast of a country unaccustomed to such violent weather.

The cyclone initially packed winds of 260km/h an hour.

The storm had raised fears about oil shipments in the Strait of Hormuz, through which about one quarter of the world's crude supplies pass.

But United Arab Emirates Oil Minister Mohammed al-Hameli, who is also president of OPEC, said the storm had not affected shipping through the straits.

The clean up

In the capital Muscat, heavy-duty ploughs, dumper trucks and diggers began the mammoth task of clearing roads of the thick mud and debris deposited at the height of the storm yesterday.

The popular Al Qurm commercial district, with its upmarket shops and cafes, was particularly badly hit.

State TV reported that the government had ordered food shops to reopen as soon as possible and that work was under way to restore power to remote areas.


Oman has began clearing up after it was lashed by Cyclone Gonu, which killed up to 28 people and seriously damaged the Gulf state's infrastructure.

Oman state television reported 25 people dead.

Twenty-six people were also reported missing.

Gonu also killed three people in Iran, where tens of thousands of people hunkered down in shelters.

Officials said more than 40,000 people were evacuated from coastal areas in southern provinces to higher ground.

A police spokesman, who had earlier given a toll of 20 dead, said that half of those killed had drowned in flooding caused by torrential rain and that police and army helicopters were searching for the missing.

Cyclone Gonu hit Iran and the south-western tip of Pakistan after battering Oman yesterday.

Damage

The fiercest storm to hit the region for 30 years left a trail of destruction along the east coast of a country unaccustomed to such violent weather.

The cyclone initially packed winds of 260km/h an hour.

The storm had raised fears about oil shipments in the Strait of Hormuz, through which about one quarter of the world's crude supplies pass.

But United Arab Emirates Oil Minister Mohammed al-Hameli, who is also president of OPEC, said the storm had not affected shipping through the straits.

The clean up

In the capital Muscat, heavy-duty ploughs, dumper trucks and diggers began the mammoth task of clearing roads of the thick mud and debris deposited at the height of the storm yesterday.

The popular Al Qurm commercial district, with its upmarket shops and cafes, was particularly badly hit.

State TV reported that the government had ordered food shops to reopen as soon as possible and that work was under way to restore power to remote areas.