Forecast saves lives

July 6, 2007

A recently qualified PhD student has helped the Omani Government avert massive loss of life in a tropical storm. Juma Almaskari was a weather forecaster before coming to the UK to study atmospheric numerical modelling at Leeds University. Last month, a few months after gaining his PhD, Dr Almaskari was tracking the category-five cyclone Gonu as it moved through the Gulf, and his modelling predicted a major disaster. He persuaded the Omani Government to move 67,000 people away from the capital Muscat's coastal area, which lay directly in Gonu's path. The predictions were correct. The cyclone hit the eastern tip of Oman on June 5, killing 49 people and causing almost £2 billion worth of damage.

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