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Oman: flash floods kill 18, including children  

Intense rainfall and flash floods have affected various areas of the Gulf region, resulting in the loss of lives.

April 16, 2024 at 1:40 pm

The death toll from flash floods caused by heavy rain in Oman rose to 18 yesterday, including 10 schoolchildren. Aged between 10 and 15, the children were on a bus with four other minors when it was swept away in Al-Mudaybi, Sharqiyah, on Sunday. The driver and four children were rescued by civil defence workers.

Of the 18 killed recorded by the Omani authorities, six were local citizens and 10 were students. Sharqiyah was the worst-hit area. The Royal Oman Police have responded to several reports of families and children trapped in wadis due to the inclement weather conditions.

Government schools will be running classes online from today and tomorrow as a result. More heavy rain is expected in Dubai and other parts of the Arabian Peninsula.

Every year, Oman’s usually dry wadis turn into treacherous, fast flowing rivers when heavy rains arrive. Despite regular warnings from the authorities urging the public to stay away from these valleys during the wet season, every year people are drowned.

Today, Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik conveyed his condolences and sympathies to the families of the students who died in the flash floods, the Oman Observer has reported.

Yesterday, the outlet noted that such flooding is becoming a regular occurrence in the sultanate, with risks of floods having risen substantially over the past 50 years. North and South Sharqiyah are becoming increasingly vulnerable to flash floods following torrential or even moderate rains.

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