Heavy rains, floods pound crisis-hit Yemen

Published 30.08.2017 16:27
Updated 30.08.2017 17:44
emEPA Photo/em
EPA Photo

At least five people were killed Wednesday by torrential rainfall and flooding in Yemen's central Ibb province, while a number of others remain missing, according to reports by local residents.

Since Tuesday, several parts of the country have been inundated by heavy rainfall, which has led to torrential flooding, especially in Ibb's Jiblah Directorate.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, local residents said at least five people in the directorate had been killed after being swept away by the flooding, while a number of others still remain missing.

Several homes in the area have been destroyed by flash floods, according to the same sources.

On Tuesday, at least 14 people were killed by heavy rainfall and flooding in the southern Lahij province's Al-Maqatira Directorate.

"We haven't seen rainfall like this in 20 years," Al-Maqatira resident Ali al-Kubati told Anadolu Agency.

"Trucks and cars have been swept away by the floodwaters and several people have lost their lives," al-Kubati said.

He went on to note that a vital highway linking Al-Maqatira to the southern city of Aden, which currently serves as interim capital for Yemen's internationally-recognized government, had been closed indefinitely due to the flooding.

Along with a bloody conflict pitting the government against a powerful Shiite militia group, impoverished Yemen is still reeling from a recent cholera outbreak that left hundreds dead.

According to U.N. humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien, Yemeni people are suffering a "triple tragedy" as the country is ravaged by a brutal conflict, a cholera outbreak, and the threat of famine.

The suffering of Yemenis has "relentlessly intensified," with 17 million who don't know where their next meal is coming from, nearly 7 million at risk of famine and nearly 16 million lacking access to water or sanitation, O'Brien said.

The number of cholera cases in the war-torn country has now surpassed half a million, the World Health Organization said.

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