Red-Hot Resources

"Luck is not chance, it’s toil; fortune’s expensive smile is earned.”

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cyclone Gonu Hammers Oman

The forecast coming out of Oman about Cyclone Gonu last night was for the potential for a serious human impact. My heart goes out to anyone caught in the path of the storm. The good news ... so far ... is that the worst people have been dealing with is serious flooding ... including inside their houses, and brother, I know what that's like.

Will the impact be worse as Gonu clears the area and we get on-the-ground reports? I sure hope not. One hopeful sign -- oil futures are down a tad as I write this. One would hope that the world's big energy traders -- many of whom have Persian Gulf connections -- would have better information on this than I.

Or perhaps they're waiting to see the impact on Omani operations/shipping in the Gulf/Iranian oil and gas operations before they move on the price of oil and gas.

This is a roundup of things I found on the web ....

From ...

KAC/UCF and Chuck Watson are forecasting, based on their damage models, that the Qalhat (Sur) LNG terminal will be out for 25-30 days and the Mina al Fahal oil terminal will be down for 15-20 days--all of this assuming they are built to US standards. (NB: These damage estimates have increased with each successive model run...and assume US construction standards.)


From (a good source for US hurricane data, by the way) ...

This is sad -- the very area that I documented last night, at the extreme southeastern tip of Oman, is going to be the hardest hit area from Gonu. The cyclone has moved slowly northwest during the day, approaching Oman, and the latest track has it making landfall right at the southeast corner that juts into the Arabian Sea, and then sliding along the coastline, up towards the capital, Musqat, and dissipating against the mountainous terrain.(click to Enlarge)


Here is a blog from Muscat, Oman: Sleepless in Muscat.

The most recent post on the blog (as I write this) ...

The rain has not stopped since last night 1am Oman Main Time accompanied by strong winds. It seems as though that the sea has come out to join in on the calamity party by going inland up to 300 meters in Athaiba, Seeb and Shatti Al Qurum.

So far, there is no damage report about the situation but it has been rumored that some 16 Indian nationals have been saved from drowning somewhere on the coast. Airport flights have been cancelled mostly but hopefully all will be restored when the storm brews over.

We've had some power disconnections during the night which is the reason why I haven't slept at all in addittion to the sound of the downpour outside on the street.

There have been reports also that now the storm is moving along directly to Iran. But will pass by the coast of Muscat around 12 noon (around 2 and a half hours from now). With all this rain there is a certainty that there has been floods around the Muscat area but unknown even now.

The Royal Oman Police has warned the residents of Muscat to go further inland and preferrably to higher grounds before the eye of the storm passes by Muscat to lessen the casualties to a minimum. They have also asked everyone in Muscat not to venture the street amidst the stormy weather during this period unnecessarily for fear over their lives.


Finally, my friend Kevin Kerr sent me some emails from foreigners living in Muscat ...

It's absolutely tipping down here. The windows in our house are leaking like mad. We're running round with mops but it just won't stop. Outside our garden is flooding!! 2 of our trees have fallen down almost hitting our neighbour's car. Tomorrow when the wadis fill up its going to be chaos. School has been cancelled today but by the end of the weekend I think we'll be really bored. From Amy, 12 years old.
Amy McGuigan, Muscat

I have lived in Oman for nearly 10 years and I have never experienced something like this. The schools are closed, we have been told the water and power is going to be cut. We have also been told to fill buckets and bathtubs with water and to stock up on food supplies for at least 5 days! The houses in Oman are not strong enough to withstand the winds and the rain is pouring down inside our homes. Even though we know we are going to be safe, there will be a lot of damage done and it is not safe outside the house.
Andre Waerness-Vold, Muscat, Oman

Labels: , , ,

Check out my new gold and energy blog at