Oman, Yemen prepare for hurricane-strength Cyclone Mekunu

Cyclone Mekunu Three of 11 people killed so far are Indians say officials

Cyclone tears through Yemeni island Socotra

Residents near coastal areas in Dhofar and al-Wusta in Oman moved to shelters as winds and torrential rains picked up in the region.

Cyclone Mekunu, which hit the Yemeni island of Socotra, causing severe flooding and damage, is likely to trigger heavy showers along the western coast of Maharashtra in the next few days, an Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) official said on Thursday, according to PTI.

Oman's civil aviation authority announced that Salalah airport would be closed for 24 hours from midnight (2000 GMT Thursday).

Head of the directorate Abdullah al-Khoduri told Oman TV that the cyclone, which intensified to category 2 early Friday, was downgraded to category 1 after losing some of its strength.

Omani forecasters warned Salalah and the surrounding area would get at least 200 millimeters (7.87 inches) of rain, over twice the amount of rain this city typically gets in a year.

Yemeni security officials said rescuers recovered two bodies on Socotra, while more than 30 people remain missing.

Socotra Gov. Ramzy Mahrous said one ship sank and two others ran aground in the storm, initially saying authorities believed 17 people were missing and presumed dead.

It is expected to hit parts of the Empty Quarter, one of the world's most arid deserts, later Saturday.

The storm flooded Socotra's villages and capsized boats, leaving much of the island without access to communications.

A member of staff removes the rain water covered a corridor at a hotel in Salalah, Oman.

A auto makes its way through standing water on a road in Salalah, Oman.

The girl died after wind swept her against a wall, police say.

The NCM is urging residents to follow updates, reports and forecasts issued ONLY by the NCM and ignore other rumours surrounding the cyclone and its impact on the UAE. They described the cyclone as "extremely severe".

The strongest on record to make landfall over the Arabian Peninsula was super cyclone "Gonu" in 2007 which hit North-East Oman with highest wind speeds recorded at 270 km/hr.

The Port of Salalah, a key gateway for the country, is also closed with its cranes secured against the pounding rain.

Largely untouched by Yemen's three-year-old war, it is under the control of the internationally-recognised government whose president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, is in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, refuting rumours on social media, a senior official from the PACA, has said that it is unlikely that there will be a second cyclone following Mekunu.

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