The government of Oman declared a state of emergency as the country was hit today by the Tropical Cyclone Gonu, a tropical storm that has now reached a category 5 danger status. The storm is expected to run across the coast of the country over a period of three days. The Royal Oman Police has been making continuous announcements over TV and radio on how to deal with the crisis. ROP reported that they have evacuated the 7,000 residents of Mesirah Island, the first Omani state to be hit by the cyclone.
Though initially not taken seriously by many, the majority of the people are now seriously terrified as recent announcements state that the cyclone is moving towards the capital of the Oman, Muscat. Surprisingly, the Omani media has been doing a great job by proving coverage over TV and radio regarding the latest updates, but as the evening approaches now approaches, everything seems to cool down. OmanTV is now showing a drama TV series as if nothing has happened, I do not have access to a radio right now to hear what's going being broadcast there.
Blogger Sleepless in Muscat is keeping a constantly updated list of the major recent developments, these include airport and all commercial establishment closures. Sleepless also says that he will upload a video on the situation soon.
Another blog with excellent coverage is newsBriefsOman in which Sue posted several links to forecast resources illustrating the situation. However, she warns her readers saying:
[D]on't be distracted by the forecast track of the centre of the storm. It's the wind fields and the associated rain that you need to watch. At the moment, the forecast is that the area of intense wind and rain would take in all of northern Sharqiyah, the coast between Al Ashkhirah and Muscat and certainly as far inland as Nizwa.
This was forwarded to me by three different people who work for PDO, and I thought it was worth sharing. I think it's worth noting that PDO deserves credit for disseminating clear, concise, and useful information at a time when it's needed most. It's one of the many good services that PDO provides for it's staff and the community at large, the next time you see a PDO employee somewhere, tell them thank you.
There are no sources for instantaneous news updates regarding the cyclone in Oman. I think that visiting one of the Omani forums such as OmanForum and EnglishSabla can provide somewhat of a helpful guide on what is happening.