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Cyclone Shaheen Underscores Oman’s Need for Climate-Resilient Infrastructure

MIN READOct 5, 2021 | 21:13 GMT

High waves break on the seaside promenade in Muscat on Oct. 2, 2021, the day before Cyclone Shaheen officially made landfall in Oman.

High waves break on the seaside promenade in Muscat on Oct. 2, 2021, the day before Cyclone Shaheen officially made landfall in Oman.

(MOHAMMED MAHJOUB/AFP via Getty Images)

To harden its infrastructure against increasingly frequent cyclones, Oman will need external funding from its wealthier Arab Gulf neighbors, which could ultimately undermine Muscat’s autonomy on regional matters by increasing its economic dependence on powerful players like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Damage from torrential rains and high winds have so far killed 13 people in Oman after tropical cyclone Shaheen made landfall along the country’s coast on Oct. 3, bringing unprecedented storm activity to the deserts of southwestern Arabia. Shaheen is only the second tropical storm on record to strike through the Gulf of Oman since 1890. But as climate change increases sea temperatures in the region, such extreme weather events are likely to become less isolated in the coming years. ...

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