Cyclone kills Yemeni fishermen in Somalia

Cyclone kills Yemeni fishermen in Somalia
Fishermen head out to sea for a fishing trip as the sun sets near the fishing port, in Hodeida, Yemen. (AP/File)
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Updated 25 November 2020

Cyclone kills Yemeni fishermen in Somalia

Cyclone kills Yemeni fishermen in Somalia
  • Government offices and local hospitals in Aden placed on alert amid fears of flash flooding

AL-MUKALLA: Seven Yemeni fishermen died when their boat was destroyed by gale-force winds as tropical Cyclone Gati lashed Somalia.

The seven fishermen were asleep on the vessel in a sheltered breakwater in Xaafuun in the northeast of the country when the storm — Somalia’s strongest on record — struck early on Sunday morning.

Omer Gambet, head of the Fisheries Cooperative Union in Al-Mukalla, the capital of Yemen’s southeastern province of Hadramout, told Arab News that the fishermen, all from Kusair village, were among dozens of Yemenis fishing for tuna in Somalian waters.

The bodies of the seven men were found close to the wreckage of their fishing vessel, he said.

Cyclone Gati lashed parts of Somalia on Sunday after wreaking havoc on Yemen’s remote island of Socotra.

At least eight people were killed and thousands left homeless as torrential rain and gale-force winds destroyed houses in the villages of Xaafuun and Hurdiya.

Local authorities in Yemen have ordered financial compensation for the families of the seven fishermen.

In Socotra, where the cyclone first made landfall on Saturday, residents told Arab News that three days of nonstop rain had triggered flash floods that damaged houses and washed away cars in and around Hadibu, the island’s capital.

“People are in desperate need of food aid,” a local government official said.

HIGHLIGHT

Yemen’s meteorological department on Tuesday warned fishermen against going to sea, and forecast heavy rain in the country’s western, southern and eastern areas.

He added that Socotra has faced power and security issues since June when separatists seized control of the island.

“We do not know who will handle relief efforts as there are no functioning public bodies.There has not been any humanitarian assistance,” the official, who declined to be named, said.

In the port city of Aden, Yemen’s interim capital, government offices and local hospitals were placed on alert amid fears of flash flooding.

Torrential rain and floodwaters in August killed 20 people and left thousands homeless across the war-torn country.

In its latest bulletin, Yemen’s meteorological department on Tuesday warned fishermen against going to sea, and forecast heavy rain in the country’s western, southern and eastern areas.

Civilians killed

Five civilians were killed and several others wounded on Tuesday when a land mine planted by Houthi rebels destroyed their vehicle in the western province of Hodeidah.

The blast occurred on the main road linking Al-Tuhayata with Khokha. Local officials believe Houthi fighters planted the mine to target government forces in the area.

Fighting has been raging for months in Hodeida as the rebels push to seize control of new territory in the province.

In the densely populated city of Taiz in southern Yemen, a mother and her two children were wounded when a rebel mortar shell struck their house on Tuesday.

Houthi militants have intensified shelling of residential areas in Taiz in recent weeks after failing to seize the city’s downtown.


Hundreds protest police repression in Tunisia

Hundreds protest police repression in Tunisia
Updated 48 min 39 sec ago

Hundreds protest police repression in Tunisia

Hundreds protest police repression in Tunisia
  • Saturday’s protests come as the North African nation struggles to stem the novel coronavirus pandemic
  • The government on Saturday extended a night-time curfew from 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) to 5 a.m. and banned gatherings until February 14

TUNIS: Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Tunisian cities on Saturday to protest police repression, corruption and poverty, following several nights of unrest marked by clashes and arrests.
Saturday’s protests come as the North African nation struggles to stem the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has crippled the economy and threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
Over 6,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Tunisia, with a record 103 deaths reported on Thursday.
The government on Saturday extended a night-time curfew from 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) to 5 a.m. and banned gatherings until February 14.
But protesters took to the streets in several parts of the country, including the capital Tunis and the marginalized interior region of Gafsa, to demand the release of hundreds of young people detained during several nights of unrest since January 14.
“Neither police nor Islamists, the people want revolution,” chanted demonstrators in a crowd of several hundred in Tunis, where one person was wounded in brief clashes amid a heavy police presence.
Protests were also held in the coastal city of Sfax on Friday.
Much of the unrest has been in working class neighborhoods, where anger is boiling over soaring unemployment and a political class accused of having failed to deliver good governance, a decade after the 2011 revolution that toppled long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Economic misery exacerbated by novel coronavirus restrictions in the tourism-reliant nation have pushed growing numbers of Tunisians to try to leave the country.
“The situation is catastrophic,” said Omar Jawadi, 33, a hotel sales manager, who has been paid only half his salary for months.
“The politicians are corrupt, we want to change the government and the system.”
The police have said more than 700 people were arrested over several nights of unrest earlier this week that saw young people hurl rocks and petrol bombs at security forces, who responded with tear gas and water cannon.
Human rights groups on Thursday said at least 1,000 people had been detained.
“Youth live from day to day, we no longer have hope, neither to work nor to study — and they call us troublemakers!” said call center worker Amine, who has a degree in aerospace engineering.
“We must listen to young people, not send police in by the thousands. The whole system is corrupt, a few families and their supporters control Tunisia’s wealth.”
Tunisia last week marked one decade since Ben Ali fled the country amid mass protests, ending 23 years in power.
Tunisia’s political leadership is divided, with Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi waiting for parliament to confirm a major cabinet reshuffle announced last Saturday.