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Wed 10 Oct 2018 06:46 PM

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Oman schools close as cyclone gathers strength

Cyclone Luban is expected to hit southern parts of Oman and Yemeni islands on Wednesday night

Oman schools close as cyclone gathers strength
Cyclone Mekunu killed 11 people in Oman and Yemen when it struck five months ago.

Oman announced schools in Dhofar governorate will close Thursday as a cyclone gathers strength in the Arabian Sea, five months after Cyclone Mekunu killed 11 people in the sultanate and Yemen.

Cyclone Luban is expected to hit southern parts of Oman and Yemeni islands, including Socotra, on Wednesday night with winds expected to reach 120 kilometres per hour (75 miles per hour).

"Schools will be shut as precautionary measure and to protect the students and staff... and in case residents need shelter during that time," the education directorate in Dhofar, 950 kilometres south of Muscat, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Luban is currently considered a category one tropical cyclone.

In May, Cyclone Mekunu killed at least 11 people in southern Oman and the Yemeni island of Socotra.

The cyclone had isolated parts of Socotra island -- part of a UNESCO-protected archipelago for its rich biodiversity -- with the government declaring it a "disaster" zone.

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