Torrential rain and hurricane force winds were forecast for the eastern coast of Oman as Cyclone Phet, a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and gusts up to 170 mph bore down on the sultanate’s coast Wednesday.
Oman’s government was sending aircraft to evacuate residents of Masirah Island, according to a GulfNews.com report from Oman.
Gulf News said the storm was not expected to hit the Omani mainland but veer to the northeast. It would be close enough however to bring torrential rain and hurricane force winds to the coast.
Residents were crowding supermarkets and stores to stock up on supplies to ride out the storm, Gulf News reported, and Oman’s Directorate General of Meteorology and Air Navigation department advised fishermen to stay in port.
Wunderground.com forecast Phet would move along the Omani coast Thursday and then head across the Arabian Sea to Pakistan.
Phet threatens Oman’s coast three years after Tropical Cyclone Gonu, a Category 5 storm, roared along the sultanate’s coast, dropping eight inches of rain that turned streets into rivers in the capital of Muscat.
At least 28 deaths were blamed on Gonu.