18 Dead After Heavy Rain in Oman: Schools Close, Evacuations Ongoing

Eighteen people are dead and more are missing as more than a year’s worth of rain fell on Oman in just days, causing widespread flash flooding. With the downpour expected to continue on Wednesday, schools and government offices have been closed and hundreds have evacuated.

Large parts of the country have experienced torrential rain and thunderstorms since Sunday. Some areas received over 180 millimeters of rain between Sunday and Tuesday, according to the country’s National Committee for Emergency Management. The average annual rainfall in Muscat, the nation’s capital, is about 100 millimeters — although other parts of the country can receive more rain.

The 18 dead includes an infant, the emergency management committee said on Tuesday, and two others are missing. Ten of the dead were schoolchildren who were swept away in a vehicle with an adult, according to The Associated Press.

On Wednesday, heavy rain was forecast to continue falling, with some places, including Muscat, expected to receive 30 to 100 millimeters of rain, the emergency management committee said.

Some schools closed on Tuesday and some government departments ordered staff to work from home. The closures will continue on Wednesday, according to state media.

The neighboring United Arab Emirates also experienced a deluge on Tuesday, receiving what the country’s National Center of Meteorology and the government said was the largest rainfall event in 75 years. One area received 254.8 millimeters of rain in less than a day, the center said. Flights heading to Dubai International Airport were diverted and operations were briefly suspended because of the intense storm.



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