JEDDAH: The first Saudi relief planes carrying urgent humanitarian aid arrived in the cyclone-hit island of Socotra on Sunday.
The general supervisor of the King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid and Relief (KSRelief), Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, said that on the orders of King Salman and due to the concern expressed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to help the cyclone-hit Yemeni brothers, KSRelief launched its relief activities. As part of these efforts, planes loaded with essential items and food accompanied by a specialized team to supervise the distribution of the aid have been dispatched to Socotra.
Al-Rabeeah said the KSRelief had started making preparations soon after receiving reports from the UN World Meteorological Organization predicting an increase in the cyclone’s intensity and that it would hit the Yemeni island.
The KSRelief chief thanked King Salman and the crown prince for this humanitarian initiative. He said that more planes loaded with relief goods would follow this batch. A schedule has been finalized in coordination with the Higher Relief Committee.
Socotra Gov. Ramzy Mahrous said on Sunday that the death toll on the island remained seven — five Yemenis and two Indian sailors. A further eight Indian sailors remain missing.
The southeastern part of the island remains cut off, but authorities are working to access the area and assess damage, Mahrous told AFP.
Around 1,000 families on Socotra, with a population of around 60,000, were evacuated after their homes were damaged.
The main road linking the airport to Hadibo, the island’s main city, has been reopened, Mahrous said.