Tropical Cyclone Mekunu - May 2018
A new tropical storm has developed in the southwest Arabian Sea where it intensified yesterday evening into Cyclone Mekunu. The cyclone is moving currently north-northwest at a speed of 11 km/h. Mekunu is expected to continue moving in this direction during the remainder of this week and make landfall near Salalah, Oman on about Saturday 26 May. A major fluctuation in tropical weather over the southern Arabian Sea known as the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) is likely to cause Mekunu to strengthen further. As a result, heavy rains are forecasted for Socotra Island, followed by the southern Arabian coast from Sayhut in eastern Yemen to Salalah and Ash Shuwaymiyyah in southern Oman, which could cause local flooding and damage. (FAO, 23 May 2018)
The impact of cyclone ‘Mekunu’ on Yemen’s eastern mainland, after it had made landfall in the Sultanate of Oman on 26 May, has been limited. Minor damage has been reported to infrastructure in the districts of Hawf and Shahan of Al Maharah Governorate. Two ships reportedly sank in Al Gaydah and the cycolone damaged agricultural equipment. Meanwhile, assessments and relief efforts continue on the island of Socotra. On 27 May, [IFRC] reported that seven people have died and eight are still missing due to the cyclone...Local authorities and the Displacement Tracking Team led by the International Organization for Migration (DTM/IOM) have reported a total of 507 families being displaced in Hadibo and Qalansiyah. Communities living in Badahola have evacuated their areas as reportedly they have been surrounded by flood water. The majority of the affected population (90 per cent) are hosted in schools, with the rest staying in other government buildings...An inter-cluster assessment team is expected to travel to Socotra on 29 May with the support of UNHAS. (OCHA, 28 May 2018)
An inter-cluster mission led by OCHA visited Socotra from 29 May to 4 June to assess humanitarian needs in the aftermath of cyclone “Mekunu”. Steroh, Badhola and Zahiq, in the area of Nowgd (located on the southern part of the island) are the locations most affected by the cyclone which the team was able to visit. It is estimated that in these areas 90 per cent of the population are in urgent need of food, non-food items and WASH assistance. Local authorities have warned of an imminent hunger crisis, if no resources are mobilized, as approximately 90 per cent of the population in the assessed areas lost their food stocks to the cyclone and are unable to sustain themselves. (OCHA, 07 Jun 2018)
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This report is produced by OCHA in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It was issued by the OCHA Yemen office. The next report will be issued when additional information on the emergency becomes available.
I. KEY HIGHLIGHTS
• The people of Socotra might be at risk of increased hunger unless immediate resources are mobilized.
• Access to shelter, non-food items and drinking water are critical priorities as supplies are either not available in the market or not affordable to most people.
• The inter-cluster assessment team completes its mission to Nowgd area in Socotra
• The humanitarian community prepares for a possible increase in displacement along the western coast
• The number of vessels that discharged cargo at Red Sea Ports has increased by 55 per cent in May compared to previous month
THE RESPONSE TO CYCLONE “MEKUNU” CONTINUES IN SOCOTRA
Sana’a, Yemen – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is supporting the island of Socotra after it was devastated by Cyclone Mekunu on 23 May. Working with inter-cluster partners and local authorities on the ground, IOM has determined the most urgent needs to be food and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
This bulletin is for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time.
Tropical cyclone Mekunu (22 - 27 May) has caused human casualties and loss of property in Socotra and Al Maharah governorates.
I. Socotra: Now the situation in Socotra is in the phase of Rescue, Search and Response. The weather is calm. On 26 May, the airport and the port of Socotra resumed functioning. Authorities and several humanitarian organizations continue to monitor and respond to the situation.
Saudi Reconstruction Program in Yemen has announced the opening of the first office in the island of Socotra and the program’s beginning to alleviate the humanitarian conditions in the area. Not only is the Program moving people away from the tents and makeshift stone houses into suitable housing, it is also implementing infrastructure projects including roads, electricity, water and sanitation. The Program is also working on providing basic services, such as health and education, and is supporting those working in fishery, agriculture, and livestock.
Almost a week after Cyclone “Mekunu” flooded the island of Socotra and parts of Yemen’s eastern mainland, initial indications are that food and WASH assistance remain critical priority needs. A UNOSAT rapid satellite assessment of the impact over Qalansiyah city shows that some areas along the wadis may be flooded and some roads potentially affected by water and mud as of 27 May.
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• The humanitarian community is responding to needs following an escalation in fighting on the west coast.
• Humanitarian responses to the impact of Cyclone ‘Mekunu’ have been scaled up on Socotra Island.
• Deconfliction notifications submitted by OCHA on behalf of UN agencies to the Evacuation and Humanitarian Operations Committee (EHOC) have reached 10,000 since 2015.
• The first containerized cargo vessel to be granted access to Al Hudaydah port since November 2017 arrived on 26 May.
ABU DHABI, 28th May 2018 (WAM) -- The UAE has responded quickly, since the tropical Cyclone Mekunu hit the Yemeni island of Socotra, to rescue residents and assure they receive all the medical care needed.
First aircraft of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) relief effort arrives in line with directives from King Salman bin Abdulaziz and follow-up of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Initial shipment to be followed by planes carrying additional aid according to a relief schedule and plan, in coordination with the High Relief Committee
KSRelief said it also provided urgent food aid in the city of Hof in the remote province of Al-Mahra in southeast Yemen for 1,800 people affected by Mekunu
The impact of cyclone ‘Mekunu’ on Yemen’s eastern mainland, after it had made landfall in the Sultanate of Oman on 26 May, has been limited. Minor damage has been reported to infrastructure in the districts of Hawf and Shahan of Al Maharah Governorate. Two ships reportedly sank in Al Gaydah and the cycolone damaged agricultural equipment. Meanwhile, assessments and relief efforts continue on the island of Socotra.
This bulletin is being issued for information only and reflects the current situation known at this time.
Tropical cyclone Mekunu has caused heavy rainfall on the Arabian coast including Socotra island of Yemen. Sustained maximum wind speeds reached 99-106mph (159-209kmph), (India Meteorological Department). Mekunu’s path mainly affected the two Yemeni governorates of Socotra and Al Mahrah.
On 23 May 2018, tropical cyclone “Mekunu” swept through the island of Socotra flooding it heavily. On 24 May, the Government of Yemen declared a state of emergency and called on humanitarian organizations to support relief efforts. At the time of this report, rains have stopped and the cyclone is on course to make landfall in western Oman and eastern Yemen on 26 May.
May 25th, 2018 ― Doha: Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has launched an immediate response to Cyclone Mekunu, which is crashing into the Arabian Peninsula this weekend.
From its Contingency Fund, QRCS allocated $100,000 for initial relief in Yemen, providing emergency medical services and food and nonfood items.
Since Wednesday, QRCS's Disaster Information Management Center (DIMC) has been convened to keep up-to-date with the cyclone and ensure the availability of the relief reserves and field hospital for potential intervention.