Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi
Jihan Shuaib, Staff Reporter
His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has instructed the Urgent Housing Department of Sharjah’s Directorate of Housing to provide appropriate and stable emergency shelter for the inhabitants of areas that may be affected by the Cyclone Shaheen as part of his keenness to provide a decent living for families.
Sheikh Sultan also instructed all authorities concerned in the emirate to join efforts, follow up on developments of events, draft reports and take the necessary measures in the cities of the Eastern Region as a whole until the cyclone season comes to an end.
Ahmed Rashid Al Naqbi, Deputy Director of the Urgent Housing Department at the Directorate of Housing, said via the Direct Line programme broadcast live on Sharjah Radio and TV that Sheikh Sultan gave his instructions for urgent solutions to be sought to secure appropriate and stable housing for any of the inhabitants of the areas that may be affected.
A large number of hotel apartments were provided for urgent intervention in such crises and circumstances, he said.
Shaheen hit land in Oman on Sunday having already killed at least three people, its heavy rain and ferocious winds prompting evacuations from coastal areas and delaying flights to and from the capital, Muscat. As the cyclone approached, a child who had been swept away by water was found dead, the state news agency said, and another person was missing. Two Asian workers were killed when a hill collapsed on their housing area in an industrial zone, the state news agency reported.
Some flights to and from Muscat International Airport were suspended “to avoid any risks”, the airport said, while the Civil Aviation Authority urged people to avoid low-lying areas and valleys.
Oman declared a two-day national holiday on Sunday and Monday and shuttered schools “due to the adverse climate conditions”, the official Oman News Agency said.
The national emergency committee said the power supply would be cut in al-Qurm, east of the capital, to avoid accidents. More than 2,700 people were put up in emergency shelters.
Most of the oil-exporting country’s five million people live in and around Muscat. Roads in the capital would be open only to vehicles on emergency and humanitarian journeys until the storm dies down, authorities said.
Saudi Arabia’s civil defence authorities called for caution in several regions from Monday to Friday in expectation of heavy winds and possible flooding, the state news agency reported.
Meanwhile, Engineer Abdul Rahman Al Naqbi, Director of Kalba Municipality, reassured the public of the proactive preparations taken by the municipality under the supervision of the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority.
“The entire situation is stable from the entrance to Kalba on to the creek and the southern region,” he added, noting that work teams and patrols are also available in the Western Region.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) announced that all schools, universities and institutes located in the areas expected to be affected by the cyclone Shaheen would operate through distance education, stressing that all local teams are working closely to provide maximum protection for all residents in areas that may be affected by the tropical situation.
His Highness’ directives came during remarks he made via the Direct Line Programme broadcast live on Sharjah Radio. Sheikh Sultan also instructed SPEA to set the number of teaching classes for each teacher to 24 per week, approximately 5 teaching classes per day.
Sheikh Sultan directed the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) to set two standards for private schools in the emirate regarding the maximum number of students per classroom and the number of classes a week for teachers.
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