Passing parallel to the coast of Muscat Oman around 13.00hrs on Wednesday 6th June Cyclone Gonu was vigorous and vast;
here NASA caught the Cyclone 2 days ago as it moved north-west into the Gulf of Oman . The circulatory wind speeds reached some 200kmph and its forward progress a stately 18kmph. The speed meant that it seemed to linger over Muscat enabling vast quantities of rain to fall over the mountains and town. http://www.gulf-news.com/region/Oman/10129969.html. This Cyclone is most probably the strongest since a storm struck Oman in 1890, and possibly ever. That one devastated substantial areas of Date palm plantations towards Nizwa as it appears to have headed inland rather than the track of Gonu, which is roughly parallel to the coast.
The region that is the most vulnerable to such events in Oman is the eastern peninsula; the land is low lying and the fishing communities naturally have their homes at beach level. The government, therefore, mobilised emergency services in advance and local TV showed images of schools receiving people before the storm struck.Such were the torrents of rain that the steep barren mountains around Muscat were full of mini waterfalls. At times on the rocky hill behind my flat water flowed uphill and the rain was coming from two opposing directions at the same time; extraordinary and impossible to imagine.A few days before Gonu arrived mid-day temperature in Muscat was around 44c , today it has dropped to 24c. As a result, the water coming out of the cold taps in my flat was remarkably cold, during summer the water tank on the roof receives the full intensity of the sun making the tank water hot,– as a result immersion heater was turned on while the air-conditioners were switched off. There have been the advance warnings and the government announcing public holidays to enable people to stay at home to try and avoid loss of life. Time will tell.