In the wake of a deadly tropical cyclone, Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University has launched new research programmes and courses in meteorology and climate change.
The university has also set up 10 stations to monitor earthquakes in and around the capital, Muscat, and plans six more.
Yaseen Abdulrahman Al-Sharaabi, director of the university’s Center for Environmental Studies and Research, said: “It is important to gain a greater understanding of these natural disasters, how to deal with them, and mitigate their effects.”
He told Al-Fanar Media in an e-mail that recent research showed there was “an increase in the incidence of cyclones and tropical storms” in the Indian Ocean.
In early October, Tropical Cyclone Shaheen hit the coast of Oman’s Al-Batinah North Governorate, killing 12 people. It also damaged roads and other infrastructure, and brought down telecommunications and power lines.
Shaheen was the fifth deadly storm in Oman since Tropical Cyclone Gonu killed 50 people and caused damage estimated at $4.2 billion in June 2007. With winds peaking at 240 kilometres per hour (150 miles per hour), Gonu was the strongest storm on record in the Indian Ocean.