Cyclone Gonu turned away from Oman near the city of Muscat and headed toward Iran, then dissipated over the Gulf of Oman. The death toll so far stands at 28. Roads, pipelines, and buildings have been washed away or flooded. It will probably be some time before a full damage assessment can be done. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes.

Oil and gas shipments were disrupted to some extent, but again the full impact of that is not yet known. Judging from the pictures, I suspect things were damaged far more than has so far been reported. The new Liquid Natural Gas plant that Japan gets 5% of its LNG from will be out of order for at least some weeks. In any case, the storm has certainly further eroded the slim margin of spare capacity in the industry just as hurricane season is about to begin in the US.

Here are some photos. Thanks to the The Oil Drum and the blogger Sleepless in Muscat:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Uh, I guess I'll have a McSubmarine sandwich.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thanks to Martin and NZM who posted other links for information and photos in their comments on the previous post. Check 'em out.


Martin J Frid said...

Thanks for posting this, it needs to be reported and shown to the world.

Are we prepared for such things to happen to us? Of course not.

nzm said...


We've dived off Muscat and on the way out on the diveboat, we've watched the tankers come in to hook up to the remote filling stations about 1km offshore.

I doubt that the filling stations would have survived this storm.

The pictures you have posted are mostly flooded wadi systems. Such is the ferocity of water that, when it rains, these usually dry river beds fill alarmly quickly with a raging torrents that take out everything in their paths.

Of course, because it hardly ever rains, there is no designed drainage system to speak of in this part of the world, and this exacerbates even the lightest of rainfalls!

ladybug said...

Wow, looks like the storm did do alot of road damage especially.

I LOL'd at the underwater McDonald's sign

Maybe they'll do road building a little differently in the future, and add some bigtime culverts/drainage, - Like they have to do in AZ - NM.

The Moody Minstrel said...

I guess it's a good example of the "hole in the roof" story on a much grander scale. When it rains it's too wet to work. When it's dry it doesn't need fixing. In the end nothing gets solved, and it's only a matter of time till the next disaster.

Pandabonium said...

Martin - Sleepless In Muscat reports today that he heard the town of Qurum was "totally destroyed" and is working with someone to set up some kind of international aid donatation system online. I hope the press get around to finding out the situation there and publicizing it.

NZM - Yes, there was a storm surge on the coast, but as you say the real damage was done by torrential rains running down the wadis.

This was a once in a thousand years storm. If bridges and roadways were scrubbed away as shown, pipelines are gone too. Drinkable water is going to be near the top of the list of needs.

Ladybug - civil engineers usually plan for 50 year or 100 year events and this was a 1000 year event, but perhaps climate change means such things will be more common.

Pictures are mostly of road because little else is accessible at this point. There are no doubt many homes and other buildings underwater or washed away.

Moody - Yep, and the G8 just made a big deal about promising to do something about CO2 - 43 years from now, but don't ask them how, or set targets, or monitor their progress. Talk about a hole in the roof.

nzm said...

Yes - it's truly not worth designing massive big drainage systems costing millions of dollars for a 1 in 1000 year event.

At the most, this part of the world receives 7 days of rainfall per year - but only when the Indian monsoons are bad enough for the moisture to be carried over the Gulf of Oman.

It creates temporary havoc. All the roads crossing the wadis are designed to be rebuilt after the rains - it's cheaper.

It really isn't worth putting in better drainage when all the drainage in the world couldn't cope with the flow of water that is created for, sometimes, only 2 hours at a time before the rainstorm blows over and the sun comes out again.

On our blog, I have several reports of us driving through one of our favourite wadis - Wadi Bih. One of the reports shows how the road was washed away after heavy rains.

Don Snabulus said...

Here's to a quick recovery for all affected by this tropical cyclone.

Swinebread said...

US news sucks, I didn't hear about this at all. Thanks for your post on it.

nzm said...

More pics here, the first ones being of a high court judge who believed that he was above nature's fury!

Pandabonium said...

NZM - I remember that post. Reminded me of the US Southwest - beautiful but even less vegetation.

Re:the judge. Shows that people there have no experience with what to do (and NOT do) in a flash flood situation. Amazing pictures!

Snabby - I second that.

Swinebread - yeah, I look for news on the internets.

Reena said...

Those are some pictures. Isn't it strange how CNN and BBC like to make a mountain out of a molehill if Paris Hilton was drunk driving and not really cover enough of the real destruction in places like Oman.

Pandabonium said...

Reena - I agree. BBC online had a story and pictures, but usually, TV news is more entertainment than news. (One of the reasons I don't watch TV at all).

nzm said...

Heaps of info on a specially set up blog on Cyclone Gonu:

Sad about Gonu.

Pandabonium said...

Thanks NZM.