At a glance: Yemen

Tens of thousands displaced by flooding after a rare tropical storm hits Yemen

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Yemen/2008
Children struggle through floodwaters in Mukalla, located in Hadhramout Governorate, one of the areas worst affected by unusual flooding in Yemen.

NEW YORK, USA, 5 November 2008 – Up to 300,000 people have been affected by flooding in Yemen following a rare tropical storm there.

UNICEF estimates that 68 people are dead and nearly 3,300 households destroyed in the floods. About 25,000 people have been forced to take refuge in shelters. Hadhramout and Al-Mahrah Governorates are the worst affected.

UNICEF Representative in Yemen Aboudou Karimou Adjibadé said there has been extensive damage to houses, land, livestock and crops, and families are trying to salvage belongings from the wreckage of their former homes.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Yemen/2008
Tens of thousands of Yemeni children and their families have been affected by floods that followed a rare tropical storm.

“This is an emergency situation that needs an immediate response from the international community,” he asserted.

Region unused to flooding
UNICEF and its partners are rushing emergency aid – including water tanks, jerry cans (to carry potable water), sanitation supplies and blankets.

Mr. Adjibadé, who attributed the rare storm to the effects of climate change, said much of the damage was done because the region is unused to flooding; its houses are constructed of mud, which washed away in the deluge. Yemen seldom gets more than a few inches of rain a year.

“This kind of tropical storm has not hit Yemen for almost 600 years. It is something very unusual,” he said.

 


 

 

Audio

4 November 2008:
UNICEF Representative in Yemen Aboudou Karimou Adjibadé describes what UNICEF is doing to help families in the wake of a rare tropical storm.
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