Yemen downpours kill 20

People look at the rising water level of floodwater during heavy rains in the old quarter of Sanaa, Yemen April 20, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 04 August 2020

Yemen downpours kill 20

  • Due to Marib’s improving security and stability, the city has become a safe haven for tens of thousands of Yemenis who fled fighting between the Iran-backed Houthis and the internationally recognized government

AL-MUKALLA: Torrential rains and flooding in Yemen have killed 20 people, displaced thousands and destroyed hundreds of houses and farms across the war-torn country, local government officials and media reports said on Tuesday.

The Health Ministry’s local office in Marib, the hardest hit Yemeni province, said that 17 people including eight children had died as a result of the harsh weather during the past few days and that hospitals were put on heightened alert.

Local health officials said that hospitals were braced for an increase in fatalities and patients, as rainstorms continue to lash residential areas as well as wash away farms and livestock.

The health office said the districts of Rawdha, Al-Jawba, Hareb, Al-Wadi and Marib countryside that host a large number of internally displaced people were particularly affected.

Residents told Arab News on Tuesday that floods from the overflowing Marib dam besieged several heavily populated camps for internally displaced people in Rawdha amid a shortage of food, shelter and medical supplies.

Due to Marib’s improving security and stability, the city has become a safe haven for tens of thousands of Yemenis who fled fighting between the Iran-backed Houthis and the internationally recognized government.

State media said on Monday that Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed instructed local authorities in Marib province to intensify relief efforts and prevent dam-related flooding from causing more damage.

Bulldozers were seen building up sand barriers near the dam to block water from spreading further into residential areas and cutting off a vital road that links Marib with other provinces.

In Houthi-held Sanaa, residents said that parts of a wall that surrounds the UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Sanaa and shores up its ancient houses had collapsed due to the heavy rain.

A family escaped with their lives after their home partially collapsed in the same area, and residents voiced concerns about the possible disintegration of other houses. Videos on social media showed heavy floods engulfing the streets of Sanaa and sweeping away cars and property.

In Sanaa province, local media reports said that two women and a child were killed when their house was destroyed due to heavy rain in a rural area. In Amran, dozens of houses were damaged or ruined when a dam burst following heavy rain in the Hababa region.

Aden, the interim capital of Yemen, was declared a “disaster area” in April after heavy rain and flash floods killed at least nine and deluged houses and electricity and water stations.


Iraqi officials: 3 dead, 2 wounded in Baghdad rocket attack

Updated 3 min 12 sec ago

Iraqi officials: 3 dead, 2 wounded in Baghdad rocket attack

BAGHDAD: Three Iraqi civilians were killed and two severely wounded Monday after a katyusha rocket hit near Baghdad airport, two Iraqi security officials said. It was the first time in months an attack caused civilian casualties.
The rocket targeted the international airport but struck a residential home close by instead, the two officials said. They requested anonymity in line with regulations. A child was among the dead, the officials said.
The rocket was launched from the Al-Jihad neighborhood of Baghdad, the officials said.
The attacks have become a frequent occurrence, often targeting the US Embassy in Baghdad, within the heavily fortified Green Zone, and US troops present in Iraqi bases as well as the Baghdad airport. Roadside bombs have also frequently targeted convoys carrying equipment destined for US-led coalition forces.
Previous attacks have caused minor damage but rarely deaths or injuries.
The frequency of the rockets have strained Iraq-US relations, prompting the Trump administration last week to threaten to close its diplomatic mission in Baghdad if Shiite militia groups believed to be orchestrating them are not reigned in.
The disparate nature of Shiite militias following the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani and Iranian militia leader Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis has complicated Iraqi efforts to clamp down on rogue armed elements.
A government raid on the powerful Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah, suspected of launching rocket attacks, backfired when those detained were released for want of evidence.