Omani locals rescue expats from wadi during flash floods

Published:  22 Oct at 6 PM
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Tagged: Travel Abroad
A group of local men living in the mountainous Tiwi region of Oman were on hand to rescue four expatriates whose cars were trapped in a wadi following heavy rain.

The first sign something was wrong was spotted by Hamed al Hussaini when he saw a lone foreign woman climbing a tree to escape from her vehicle after it was trapped during the rains and was being carried away by the force of the flood. He and several friends helped her climb the tree and get out of danger, then took her to Hussaini’s house, where she told the men there were more foreigners trapped in the caves above the wadi.

Immediately, the group went to the slopes below the caves and began the climb. Navigating the steep sides of the mountain to get to the caves above was hard, as the rain had made the rocks slippery, creating an ever-present danger of falling into the flooded wadi and being swept way by the force of the water. After an hour or so, the climbers reached the caves and brought the trapped group down to safety. They were taken back to the village and given warm, dry clothes, coffee and food.

Following the rescue, one of the foreigners described how they’d found themselves in a life-threatening situation. Travelling in three cars, the group had followed the map until they came to a small stream which was being shown as a road. It didn’t resemble a wadi, but they decided to turn around. Whilst they were reversing, a flash flood caused by torrential rain swept the cars into a rush of water and carryied them downstream. The only way out was to leave the cars and climb the steep slopes to get to the relative safety of the caves.

The expat group live in Muscat, and have travelled the area before, always following the rule not to cross wadis because of the risk of flash floods at this time of year. This time, they said, they were just unlucky. Some of their belongings were lost in the waters, and they’ve now to arrange to get the cars out of the wadi and have them towed back to the city. They’re more than grateful to Hussaini and his friends for being there when they were most needed, and for their kindness and hospitality.
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