Lightning storm kills 5 in Hodeida

from Yemen Times
Published on 29 Aug 2013 View Original

HODEIDA, Aug. 28—Five people died late Monday night after being struck by lightning in two mountain villages in Hodeida following a rainstorm.

Abdulrahman Jar Allah, the director of the Health Office in Hodeida, identified the victims as four women from the Al-Meghlaf Village and one man from Al-Qnawes Village. The villages are located in roughly the same area.

Jar Allah said the mountainous areas of Hodeida are prone to thunder and lightning storms that often catch people off guard. Overall impoverished conditions in the majority of the governorate’s villages means many cannot afford protection from the elements.

Jar Allah believes this to be the case with the five most recent casualties. He said the victims were living in poor conditions, exposed to the storm.

During the month of August, the height of Yemen’s rainy season, the number of thunder and lightning storms increase in the country’s central governorates, leading to the loss of human life and property damage.

The Health Office in Hodeida recently released a report stating that a mother and three children died in the Al-Otmania Village during a thunder and lightning storm. Heavy rains have also led to deaths in the governorate. Three motorcyclists recently drowned during flash floods in the Al-Rashdia Village.

The governorate has been plagued by other extreme weather including a sandstorm accompanied by heavy rains and wind that canceled flights out of the area’s airport on Thursday.

Hodeida Port was temporarily closed as well as the road that connects Hodeida to Taiz and a reported 60 houses were destroyed by the sandstorm, said Brigadier Abdulkareem Me’iad, the deputy of the Civil Defense Authority.

The Yemeni Metrology Authority expects extreme weather conditions to subside by the end of the month