Schools in southern Oman close ahead of cyclone

A picture taken on May 25, 2018, shows high waves from cyclone Mekunu breaking along the shore of Salalah in Oman. (AFP)

Oman announced that schools in Dhofar governorate will close on 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.

“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.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58