AL-MUKALLA: Heavy rains and flash floods struck Yemen’s port city of Aden and neighboring provinces on Tuesday, killing one person as the country also fights the spread of the coronavirus.
Residents and government officials said that a heavy downpour from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. triggered flash floods that overwhelmed the streets of Aden, Abyan and Lahj provinces.
Officials said that an elderly woman died when her house collapsed in Aden due to the rains. “Aden is floating on the floods. The government is assessing the damage and will provide all necessary help,” a government official told Arab News by telephone on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
Amateur videos posted on social media showed floods washing away several cars as residents rescued trapped people and protected their houses. State TV said that three children were critically injured when floodwater swept them away on the streets of Aden.
The children were rescued later by residents and were taken to local hospitals. The official state agency said that Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Hadi called local government officials in Aden and ordered them to arrange urgent help for people affected by the floods.
In Aden, residents demanded that the government remove mud from the streets and offer assistance to the trapped families and those who lost their properties. “We have not seen any assistance yet. The rains caused great damage,” Ahmad, a resident, told Arab News by telephone when rains subsided in the afternoon.
In the neighboring Lahj and Abyan provinces, similar torrential rains triggered flash floods that swept over valleys, with no information about human casualties. Earlier this week, government officials in the central province of Marib said that heavy rains in the province killed seven people, including five children, and affected more than 6,000 families. Heavy rains and floods have lashed the Yemeni capital since last week, causing damages to houses and farms.
With each wave of rainstorms, health officials have reported an increase in the number of dengue fever cases that are currently overwhelming Yemen hospitals. Earlier this month, health officials told Arab News that recent flash floods across Yemen led to a new wave of dengue fever that had killed as many as 59 people and infected more than 7,400 others since January as Yemeni hospitals brace for a potential outbreak of the coronavirus. Yemen recorded its first case of coronavirus on April 10 in the southeastern province of Hadramout.
Fighting rages on the battlefields despite calls for a truce to allow health workers to fight the coronavirus. Official media said on Monday that government forces pushed back a Houthi attack on Al-Jadafer region, north of the Hazem town in the northern province of Jawf.