Thursday, March 22, 2018
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Thunderstorms pelt Oman's mountainous east

A weekend of rain in and around the Hajar Mountains brought the usual traffic disruption and temporary power outages.


Oman's mountainous east, as well as the capital Muscat, experienced heavy rain periodically from early Friday until Saturday night.

The rain in the Hajar Mountains rushed down the wadis, normally dry river beds, and flooded low-lying areas of the Nizwa, Rustaq and Nakhal provinces.

Sporadic outages were reported in some parts of those same provinces on Friday but power supply was later restored.

Oman, being a desert country, has low annual rainfall. The average yearly catch in Muscat is 100mm. In May, it typically receives no more than 7mm. The Hajar Mountains west of Muscat can receive a lot more.

Nizwa, an ancient city at the base of the western Hajar Mountains, recorded 16mm of rain on Saturday. The city of Ibra, around 170km south of Muscat, also in the Hajar Mountains, recorded an impressive 33mm on Friday evening.

Two people who were stuck inside a vehicle stranded in the middle of Wadi Al-Hajar, in the Muscat governorate, were rescued by emergency services in Al Amerat.

Pictures of hailstones, approximately 2cm in diameter, and footage of youths running in the wadis just ahead of the flood, went viral on social media platforms.

The dry part of the year is currently being witnessed in Oman as the hot summer approaches.

Dhofar Governate in the south is the only part in the country that will get reliable rain for the next three months.

During the wet monsoon season of South Asia, this mountainous area is often shrouded in fog and catches drizzle, especially around Salalah.

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