Impacts from Gonu: Damages, Deaths

We're starting to get some sense of what Cyclone Gonu did to Oman. The early reports seem to suggest that there were effective evacuations and thus relatively few fatalities (around 25 with a similar number missing). However, the capital city of Oman was swamped by water, as this AP report details:

- People dragged soaked bedding and carpets from homes Thursday after Cyclone Gonu's winds blew down trees and power lines and its rains sent torrents of water and mud surging through Oman's seaside capital, a city often called the Arab world's tidiest.

....Cleanup crews fanned out across Muscat. Bulldozers scraped away layers of mud and rocks that washed down from the mountains when heavy rain flooded canyons and dry riverbeds Wednesday night. Soldiers pumped water from low-lying roads.

While many people began cleaning out soggy houses, others searched for cars and other vehicles that floated away in the roiling waters. Grassy fields lay under several feet of water, and lush palm and eucalyptus groves were flattened.

Strong waves still battered a beachfront normally thronged with European tourists, and the usually sparkling blue sea resembled a foamy chocolate milk.

People told of spending a night in fear as turgid water flooded their homes, carrying away refrigerators and furniture and leaving streets gouged by sinkholes and caked in mud.

This scene suggests the economic damages from the storm were probably considerable. I'm no expert on the matter, but when such damages are combined with Gonu's disruption of oil production, this may have been an expensive storm indeed....


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I remember briefly reading but what were the chances of a storm hitting Gunu like this? Wsan't this an unusual hurricane track?

"Unusual" is an understatemet. "Unique" would be more appropriate - it was the first major cyclone ever to hit the Gulf of Oman.

To add Dunc's comments, the Arabian Sea typically only gets a few (1-2) tropical cyclones per year, and only 5 TCs are known to have made landfall on the Arabian peninsula (though records are very poor before about 1970). The Arabian Sea typically has relatively dry air , which is hostile to TC development.
The Arabian peninsula itself has some of the driest air the world, and that is largely (though not entirely) responsible for Gonu's weakening from a strong cat 5 to a cat 2 by the time it struck Oman, and also responsible for its later dissipation.