Tropical Storm Keila kills 14, injures hundreds in Oman

MUSCAT (BNO NEWS) -- At least fourteen people have been killed after Tropical Storm Keila impacted the Arab state of Oman this week, officials said on Friday. More than 200 people have been injured.

Flash floods and high winds caused by Keila swept through much of the Arab Gulf country on Wednesday and Thursday, leaving more than a dozen people killed. "So far 14 people have died in three different towns. At least 200 people suffered from various degrees of injuries," Mohammed Saleh, a member of the storm emergency committee, told The National newspaper.

Saleh explained that three of the victims were electrocuted, nine drowned and two were "crushed by heavy objects." All of the patients from two major hospitals in the capital of Muscat had to be evacuated after water began entering the buildings, the report said.

"Police helicopters evacuated about 60 patients from Al Nahdha and Khoula hospitals. They are closed now for maintenance. The patients have been transferred to other hospitals," a police official told The National. He said he did not know when the hospitals will reopen.

According to witnesses, some drivers were forced to scramble on the roofs of their cars as rainwater swept across major motorways in the country. The floods also damaged hundreds of cars and houses.In the north of the country, winds up to 73 kilometers (45 miles) per hour ruined crops and farmhouses.

Keila, which weakened into a low pressure area over the west central Arabian Sea on Friday, is part of the North Indian Ocean cyclone season. It runs throughout the year but most cyclones form between April and December with peaks in May and November.

In June 2010, at least 24 people were killed when Cyclone Phet hit Oman. Five people were killed in India while fifteen fatalities were reported in Pakistan.

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