Super cyclonic storm Gonu is forecast to strike Oman in the early hours of 6 June. Data supplied by the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center suggest that the storm will make landfall. Gonu is expected to bring 1-minute maximum sustained winds to the region of around 222 km/h (138 mph). Wind gusts in the area may be considerably higher.
Coastal area should be alerted due to the significant potential for storm surge waters breaching the 5 metre mark. According to the Saffir-Simpson damage scale the potential property damage and flooding from a storm of Gonu's strength (category 4) at landfall includes:
- Storm surge generally 4.0-5.5 metres (13-18 feet) above normal.
- Curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failures on small residences.
- Shrubs, trees, and all signs are blown down.
- Complete destruction of mobile homes.
- Extensive damage to doors and windows.
- Low-lying escape routes may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the centre of the storm.
- Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore.
- Terrain lower than 3 metres (10 feet) above sea level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas as far inland as 10 km (6 miles).
There is also the potential for flooding further inland due to heavy rain. GAC, the logistics and marine services company has issued a news update via their e-mail service detailing the following:
- In anticipation of the storm Port Sultan Qaboos in Muscat has today closed its operations until further notice. Mina Al Fahal is also expected to close down shortly. The OMIFCO / LNG Terminals in Sur were closed this morning for the next 48 hours.
- There is currently no official information released regarding Sohar port and Salalah is presently still open.
- Gonu is classified equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane, the most powerful observed storm in the modern era in the Arabian Sea.
- The approaching storm is likely to have an impact as early as this evening, unleashing heavy rains, gusting winds and tidal waves.
The information above is provided for guidance only and should not be used to make life or death decisions or decisions relating to property. Anyone in the region who is concerned for their personal safety or property should contact their official national weather agency or warning centre for advice.