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DUBAI: Oman has closed schools and ports in the southern part of the country while Yemen’s local authorities prepared health facilities ahead of cyclone Luban.

Health authorities in Yemen’s western province of Mahrah took precautionary measures and have called on hospitals, medical staff and emergency services to be on alert.

“We have coordinated with local authorities in preparation for cyclone Luban to ensure the safety of citizens,” the Director General of the Ministry of Public Health and Population, Awad Mubarak Saad, told Arab News.

Residents in the area have been told to stay in safe places and to avoid valleys and other areas likely to flood in anticipation of severe weather in the coming hours.

Meanwhile, the director general of Salalah port ceased all operations on Thursday morning while schools in Dhofar province were shut down. Local authorities have said that school buildings would be used as shelters if needed as fears grew of the cyclone.

A meeting was also held at Salalah airport to discuss potential impacts of Luban, Times of Oman reported.

Meteorological experts said coastal areas in southern Oman are expected to receive heavy rain and high winds, with waves reaching heights of six to eight meters.  

Luban, which is currently a category one cyclone, is likely to develop into a Category 2 cyclone within the next 48 hours, Oman’s Public Authority of Civil Aviation said on Wednesday.

Luban is traveling northwest, and cloud bands of the cyclone are currently 327 kilometers away from the coast of Oman.

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