View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Cyclone Gonu Approaching Oman and Headed Towards the UAE

The powerful cyclone ‘Gonu’ began buffeting Oman on Tuesday (5 June), forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from Masirah Island in the Arabian Sea and closing the country's main gas export terminal.

A weather service official told Oman state television Tropical Cyclone Gonu was expected to be worse than a destructive one that hit the island in 1977.

As winds of up to 260 kmh and waves as high as 12 metres battered Oman's eastern coast, the state news agency forecast thunder storms and heavy rainfall in the oil producing country. The weather service warned residents to expect floods. “They're already calling it the worst in Oman's modern history."

How is this going to affect the United Arab Emirates?

After passing Oman, CNN meteorologists were expecting the storm to head toward Iran off the coast of UAE through the Gulf of Oman, a major shipping channel for Gulf crude oil exports.

There are many ships anchored 10 kilometres from the busy port of Fujairah. Operations at the port of Fujairah were at the last report, continuing as normal.

Geoff Pound

Image: Possible pathway and timetable of Gonu.