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Gonu inflicts $1bn damage

MUSCAT: Cyclone Gonu caused at least $1 billion (BD387m) worth of damage in Oman, state-owned Oman TV reported last night, as aid and rebuilding efforts continued. The authorities have embarked on the urgent initial tasks of rebuilding damaged roads and restoring electricity and water, with the toughest work coming in mountainous areas.

Oman is relying on its own resources in cleaning up from the worst natural disaster to hit the country since record-keeping started in 1945. The government has not asked for international help and did not accept the US Navy's offer of aid.

More than a hundred teams of Omani troops have been sent on relief duty to Muscat and the eastern provinces that were hardest hit by the storm, which killed 49 people, Ahmed bin Harith Al Nabhani, head of Oman's military said yesterday.

Oman's eastern provinces were deluged by 24 inches of rain and a 10-inch rise in sea level, the government said.

Twenty-seven people are still missing and power and water were still out in parts of the capital Muscat and elsewhere, according to TV reports.

Power and water was restored to hospitals in Muscat and Oman's Eastern provinces, Al Nabhani said.

Roads between provinces have reopened and the army has helped residents return to homes they evacuated last week on Masirah and Halaniat islands in the Arabian Sea.



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