Flooding continues, death toll rises

Ali Ibrahim Al-Moshki (author)

SANA'A, March 31 — Last week's flooding has led to 19 reported deaths, said the Yemeni Meteorology Center on Sunday. Seven of the deaths were in Hadrmout governorate, seven in Shabwa and five in Marib, including some child fatalities.

The Yemeni meteorology center warned of more heavy rains especially in mountainous governorates including Sana'a, Amran, Mahweet, Dhamar and Raima. They said land and rock erosions could be a result.

They are asking citizens to take precautions.

“[Hadromaut] has been living in a state of emergency for four days," said Saeed Bark, the office manager for Hadrmout's deputy governor.

He said people are panicked, but field teams and helicopters from the Ministry of Defense are helping rescue victims.

A year ago, the Meteorology Center adopted an early warning system to inform citizens via official media outlets about weather dangers like floods.

However, Rasheed Al-Ariqi, the head of the Forecast Department at the Center said people do not often heed the warnings. A lack of access to media also prevents the messages’ dissemination.

Al-Ariqi has asked for more coordination with local councils and the Meteorology Center in governorates to educate locals about how to prepare for natural disasters.

“We have not measured damages yet because the field teams are still working,” Al-Ariqi, said. “But I can say losses are estimated in millions of riyals.”

Roads are still blocked and farmland has been destroyed, local journalists have reported.

Yemen has been witnessing heavy rainfall since last Tuesday all over the country.