At least two Indians and five Yemenis were killed after Cyclone Mekunu accompanied by high winds and rain lashed parts of southern Oman, according to Yemen's fisheries minister Fahad Kafin. The cyclone has been wreaking havoc on the Yemeni island of Socotra from the past two days.
Earlier, eight Indian sailors went missing from the cyclone-hit Socotra port while four of them have been found alive by the rescue team. The search operation is still underway for the rest of the sailors.
The civil defence teams had also rescued dozens of people who were trapped because of floods. Civil defence said it had evacuated 10,000 people from schools and government buildings, mainly in the city of Salalah. The authority had set up 65 shelter centres in the two affected provinces.
As per Oman meteorology department, the centre of the cyclone struck west of Salalah, causing heavy damage to properties in late Friday night. Salah is the second largest city in the Gulf state and a home to over 80,000 Indians.
State-run Oman Television showed footage of large areas covered with floods in Dhofar and the nearby Al-Wusta provinces. Dozens of vehicles were seen submerged in several areas after Cyclone Mekunu intensified to category 2. However, Mekunu was downgraded to category 1 after losing some of its strength.
The cyclone also hit areas in southeast Yemen neighbouring Oman.
On Friday, a 12-year old girl died when a gust of wind sent her smashing into a wall. Three Asians who were wounded by the cyclone were rescued.
Thousands of residents near the coastal areas in the two provinces have been evacuated to safer shelters as winds up to of 170 kilometres (105 miles) per hour and torrential rainfall lashed the coastal areas. Authorities have also urged people to stay indoors and not to risk crossing the valleys and moving away from low-lying places.
In the wake of this massive cyclone the Salalah airport was also closed until midnight on Saturday. The Ministry of Manpower has declared holidays on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for both public and private sectors under the Dhofar Governorate.
India too has deployed two ships, INS Deepak and INS Kochi from Mumbai in order to respond to this crisis in Salalah, Oman. The ships have helicopters on board for rescue of personnel.
(With inputs from agencies)