MUSCAT: Local supermarkets and hypermarkets have said reports of tropical cyclone Nilofar moving towards Oman have not led to panic buying. The Met department in a statement on Sunday ruled out any major threat to the sultanate.

Ananth A V, regional director, Lulu Oman, said, “We haven’t seen rush at any of our hypermarkets across the country. People are well-informed nowadays. They can track the cyclone and get the latest updates through several media channels.

“There has been a slight increase in bottled water sales over the past few days, but it is not like the panicked buying we saw during Cyclone Gonu, and other storms that have hit Oman since then.”

Rajiv Ahuja, head of corporate communications, Khimji Ramdas said, “We have 26 outlets of Khimji’s Marts across the country. Of these seven are in Sharqiyah alone, which is expected to experience effects of the storm.

“However, there are no reports of any panicked purchases of any commodity, even water. People probably do not see any cause for alarm, considering that in the past few years Oman has been weathering such natural occurrences quite well.”

Officials from another supermarket chain, Al Maya International, also said there have been no emergency purchases by customers in wake of the cyclone threat.

Sandeep G K, operations manager, Al Maya International, said, “We have five outlets in the capital and one in Sohar. We haven’t seen any panicked buying following reports of the cyclone. I remember supermarkets being like war zones during Gonu.”

Water was being sold straight off delivery trucks then because stores did not get the chance to stock it on shelves because of the high demand, Sandeep said.

“Those days are gone. Oman has good infrastructure now and people needn’t indulge in panicked buying. Also, people using social media are well aware of the developments. We are anyway prepared for the worst. Thankfully, we haven’t seen extreme situations since Gonu, when we had to ration water so that every family got its fair share.”