• A new storm forming in Indian Ocean is predicted to develop into a tropical cyclone, making landfall in Yemen on 8 November
• As many as 44,400 people have been displaced by Cyclone Chapala
• Eight people killed including 2 children and more than 30 injured across the affected area
• Airlift of relief supplies arriving in Socotra Island
Impact of Cyclone
Chapala Cyclone Chapala has displaced up to 44,000 people and caused widespread flooding, and damage to property and crops in southeast Yemen. The areas most impacted by the storm are Socotra Island and Shabwah and Hadramaut governorates. Eight people have been reported killed, including two children, and 34 people injured across the affected areas.
In Socotra, 18,000 people were evacuated and area staying with host families and public buildings, and 237 homes are reported to have been destroyed. No deaths from the cyclone are now reported (earlier reports of three deaths have been revised). Government authorities report significant damage to physical infrastructure, including to the harbour and coastal areas.
In Hadramaut Governorate, an estimated 14,400 people are thought to be displaced, though assessments are on-going and this figure could rise as information becomes available. In Mukalla, the largest city in Hadramaut Governorate, the scale of the damage can now be seen clearly by satellite.
UNOSAT imagery in and around the city shows approximately 35 km of road affected by mudslides, debris and standing water. Importantly, the coastal road from Aden to Mukalla was damaged by flooding, hampering access of humanitarian trucks carrying relief items. Alternative roads are being assessed to deliver inter-agency humanitarian supplies to Mukalla.
In Shabwah Governorate, current indications are that 6,000 people have been displaced from the coastal town of Bir Ali and in the nearby Mayfa’a district. Local authorities estimate that 12,000 people are displaced across the governorate.
Partners on the ground report large areas in both Hadramaut and Shabwah governorates remain flooded with many communities isolated. Delivering safe drinking water and reducing levels of stagnant water to prevent vector-borne diseases malaria and dengue fever are major priorities. Some displaced people have reportedly made temporary emergency shelters from rice and flour bags, blankets and sheets.
Although the cyclone has dissipated, meteorologists report that a new tropical depression is forming in the Indian Ocean. This new storm is predicted to strengthen into a severe cyclonic storm that is likely to hit Yemen on 8 November. Socotra Island is predicted to be hit with sustained winds of up to 101km/h (63 mph), with stronger gusts. Current projections are that the storm will progress westwards towards the Yemeni mainland, making landfall east of Aden.
As the population tries to cope with the impact of the cyclone, the conflict in Yemen continues unabated. In Taizz on 4 November, 33 people were killed from airstrikes, landmines and clashes. On the same day, Sana’a was rocked by an explosion from an improvised explosive device that killed two people. Air strikes and ground shelling continue in Sa’ada, Al Jawf, Marib, Hajjah and Taizz governorates destroying private and public infrastructure. The response to the cyclone is hindered by the lack of security in much of the cyclone-affected area, due to the presence of Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.