OUTLOOK — By Humeid Al Shibli — When extreme weather conditions strike any part of the world people tend to follow weather forecasts issued by the meteorological authorities in order to brace for what is looming ahead and take whatever emergency precautions needed during such eventualities. In such cases, people obtain the information from the relevant authorities; understandably this is the normal action any civilised or semi-civilised society would do.
However, some people do not believe in what is said by the official bodies. You see such people obstinately get out from their homes, braving heavy rains and strong winds. Some fishermen and seafarers venture out into the sea, turning deaf ears to forecasts of rough seas and high waves. It is not uncommon in Oman to see motorists crossing wadis submerged in rainwater.
No-one can foretell for certain what would happen tomorrow or even in the next moments. Only God has true knowledge of the unseen, this is an unarguable truth. But science is making progress and every day we hear about new technologies and developments that help make their task easy and predictions reliable. Meteorology as a science has made notable headway in the last two decades or so which made forecasts more accurate and more dependable.
The scientific methods used in the forecasts predict the weather conditions for many days to come with high precession. Those who ignore such scientific facts risk their lives and increase the burden on the civil defence personnel.
It behoves both citizens and residents to fully co-operate with the authorities concerned in times of calamities in order to reduce accidents and financial losses. Sadly, we see entire families venturing out and risking their lives to enjoy watching wadis and dams.
One day as me and a group of friends were returning from a trip to a mountain, we stopped at an overflowing wadi and waited for the water to recede so that we could cross. In the meantime a car arrived carrying a family of six members. The man wanted to cross the wadi even though we insisted that he wait for some time. But he didn’t. After a short while the man took advantage of our being distracted and drove his car into the wadi. As we expected the car was washed away by the heavy current as soon as it entered the wadi. All six family members died in that horrendous accident. It all happened in front of our eyes and there was nothing we could do about it.
Many similar accidents have occurred in Oman and all of them were caused by such deadly recklessness. Such unwanted behaviour is unacceptable as it threatens not only the life of the person who does it but also that of other innocent people. So let’s be wise and listen to the warnings.