Cyclonic storm is considered as the worst one in the history of the North Indian Ocean. With the speed of wind of above 240 km/h influenced severe thunderstorms, rainfall and heavy waves forcing seven thousand people to relocate from the Muscat coastal areas. The eastern coastal towns, especially Sur and Ra’s al-haad, were confronted with the cyclone’s wind-speeds, and a deluge occasioned by waves of over 12 yards high.
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Analysis of the level of preparedness
The level of preparedness was not adequate because no disaster plans were available. Emergency management office was unprepared because such as a disaster had never happened in the past. In addition, there was extremely poor public awareness particularly of the elderly people.
Scientists used satellite to monitor the progress of the cyclone both in terms of its general direction and in terms of increasing intensity. The Metrological Department of Oman and the National Warning System informed people living in low-lying areas about the necessity to evacuate. The National Civil Defense Committee actively coordinated the various aspects of information dissemination prior, during, and after the disaster.
Analysis of the level of the response
Although the Omani national weather service had indicated that cyclone would be very destructive, the government response was not adequately prepared. The available ambulance services were not enough to serve at least half of the affected people. The ambulances moved and lacked effective skills and training to perform in difficult situations.
However, volunteers offered their support to reduce the effect of the cyclone. Despite there was no activity from the Disaster Management department, the National Civil Defense was at hand to ensure the seamless coordination in the evacuation and provision of necessary supplies.
Analysis of the Recovery process
The government saw the need and immediately developed a recovery plan. This plan involved the estimation of the damage in the wake of the cyclone, the individuals and communities affected as well as the amount needed to compensate the victims of the disaster. The cyclone had caused great damage to the infrastructure including roads, mobile phone masts, and electricity poles.
Humanitarian organizations such as the Bahwan Charitable Foundation chipped in and offered financial and other support to those suffered. It is estimated that over $6 million were spent on the recovery process.
From the Gonu cyclone, a number of failures were noted in the government planning. This included poor coordination, poor planned mechanism related to warning procedures and alerts. In addition, it was learnt that there must be adequate preparedness to enable efficient response to such problems.
People also learnt the need of finding out what happened in the past and taking disasters more seriously. The destruction to property and infrastructure and loss of life resulting from the Gonu cyclone indicate that the level of preparedness is not yet perfect. Apparently, in as much as there was information about the impending cyclone, the means of dissemination of that information was disjointed. This means that it was not as efficient as it might have been.
To manage disasters such as the Gonu cyclone in an effective manner, it is crucial to focus on efficient planning, as well as coordination programs. Every agency must be given clear responsibilities based on a comprehensive executive authority. In addition, it is important to offer training and procedures to be followed in case of such a disaster.
There is a need to develop a well-coordinated system of disaster management equipped with efficient mechanisms for early warning preparedness and recovery procedures. This would enable the country to avoid destruction and loss of life caused by the Gonu cyclone.