Sunday, November 06, 2011

A Wet Day in Muscat!

Summer is coming to an end here in Muscat, Oman.  We even saw rain last week...and boy, did we ever see it!!  The mountains around Muscat, the Al Hajar range, are solid rock so when it rains, nothing soaks in and it is all watershed.  Anything below better be prepared!  The average annual rainfall in Muscat is 0.8 - 3.9" per year.  Yes, per year!  On Wednesday, it rained pretty hard.  I don't know how much fell, but my guess is that we're now pretty close to that 3.9" maximum for the year.  There was flooding all over the city and a 9' section of the wall behind my house collapsed from the weight of an additional 4' of dirt.  The house behind mine was leveled and the owner is building 2 houses on that property. The soil level has been raised at least 4' and when it rained, the wall on my property couldn't handle the weight and one section collapsed.  You can see in the picture just how high the soil level is.  The picture doesn't show it, but the wall goes down another 2 feet.  We expect more sections to fall before we can get the property owner to do something about it.

My problem is nothing compared to what motorists had to deal with on Wednesday!  The flooding was unbelievable!!  Cars were swept away, buildings crumbled and there is mud everywhere now.  I only have satellite TV with no local coverage so I'll have to wait until I get back to work on Wednesday to read about it in the newspapers.  This is the first day of the biggest religious holiday here, Eid al Adha, and we have Sunday through Tuesday off.  Hopefully, it won't rain for a while so that cars can be removed and the mud cleared away.

It was the first time it rained since I arrived here in July 2010.  When I left work, without an umbrella, I took my time getting to my car.  Rain never felt so good...