AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s government on Sunday appealed for emergency humanitarian assistance for thousands of internally displaced people who were affected by torrential rains and flash floods that hit the central city of Marib.
Flash floods triggered by heavy rains coupled with strong winds battered dozens of camps, mud houses and huts that host thousands of people in different areas, killing one person and displacing thousands.
The Yemeni government’s Executive Unit for IDP Camps said in a statement seen by Arab News that the rains, floods and winds have completely destroyed the shelters and houses of 5,287 families and partially ruined the property of 11,448 others, urging local and international relief organizations and donors to urgently send aid in the form of shelter, food and medication to the affected people.
“We call on all humanitarian partners to provide urgent aid to the affected families, especially shelter and food,” the government body said, calling for permanent and disaster-resilient buildings to replace tents and mud houses.
The city of Marib had become a safe haven for more than 2 million Yemenis who fled fighting and political, religious and social oppression by the Iran-backed Houthis since the beginning of the war.
Local aid workers said that the affected people were transferred to schools and other public facilities and hotels, while many others went to live with relatives in the city of Marib.
Mohammed Al-Soaidi, an aid worker with the Executive Unit for IDP Camps, told Arab News that the rains and winds “uprooted” the camps and huts of the displaced people, and one person died while trying to rescue trapped children and women.
“People are in need of shelter and food. Tents that cannot protect people from harsh weather or rains must be replaced,” Al-Soaidi said.
Last week, rainstorms, floods and landslides killed at least 16 people and displaced many others across the country, mainly in the northern province of Hajjah.
Local social media accounts said on Sunday that hundreds of people are still trapped in mountainous villages in Hajjah and are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance after floods and rockslides blocked or washed away many roads.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization predicted in its Agrometeorological Early Warning Bulletin on Sunday that heavy rains and flooding would continue hitting many areas in Yemen and are expected to affect nearly 20,000 people in Mahwit, Taiz, Saada, Hodeidah, Raymah, Lahj, Hadramout and Shabwah.
“Forecasts for the period 01 – 20 August indicate sustained heavy rainfall threatening the already battered parts of Yemen, causing further displacement and loss of livelihoods,” the FAO said.