Picture courtesy: Royal Oman Police on Twitter

Cyclone Mekunu abates after killing at least 10 in Yemen, Oman

It is now headed towards Saudi Arabia

Cyclone Mekunu, which killed at least 10 people in Yemen and Oman, was downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday.

The storm, a category two cyclone, hit the southern coast of Oman during the weekend, killing a 12-year-old girl and two men including an Asian worker and an Omani.

The area experienced strong gusts of wind, torrential rains, and massive flooding.

Omani officials said they rescued several people including 260 foreign sailors trapped at sea.

Mekunu also wrecked havoc in the island of of Socotra in Yemen, with five Yemenis and two Indian sailors confirmed dead and at least 40 people missing. Yemen declared a state of emergency on Thursday in the island after the storm flooded the villages and capsized boats at sea.

On Saturday, Mekunu was downgraded to a storm as it moved northwest towards Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, the Saudi General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection (GEMP) said: “The impact of the tropical storm will affect many Saudi cities with heavy rains accompanied by strong winds. The winds will kick up blowing dust which may reduce visibility in the eastern parts of Najran – Al Kharkhir and southern parts of the eastern region Rub Al-Khali.

“Wind and dust will also hit areas of Eastern and northern of Hail, regions of Makkah and Madinah and Riyadh, and the Eastern province.”