SALALAH, Oman – Meteorologists are warning that Cyclone Mekunu is expected to be "extremely severe" when it makes landfall on the Arabian Peninsula this weekend, after earlier thrashing the Yemeni island of Socotra.
At least 17 people are missing from Socotra, with one Yemeni official describing them as likely dead.
Indian meteorologists tracking the cyclone said early Friday that Mekunu would see gusts of up to 180 kilometers (112 miles) per hour.
The cycle is expected to make landfall early Saturday on the Arabian Peninsula near Salalah, Oman's third-largest city and home to some 200,000 people. Strong waves already are crashing into its beaches early Friday morning.
On Socotra, Gov. Ramzy Mahrous says one ship sank and two others ran aground in the storm.
He says of the missing: "We consider them dead."