Yemen

Yemen: Cyclone Chapala Flash Update 5 | 8 November 2015

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Key messages

• Preliminary assessments indicate significant damage to infrastructure, including houses, roads and telecommunication networks.

• There are an estimated 6,808 families displaced in Shabwa, Hadramout, Socotra and Abyan. Access to safe water and sanitation, food, healthcare, adequate shelter and non-food items are priorities for the displaced.

• The response to affected areas is scaling up, involving local charitable organizations, Gulf countries, UN agencies and NGOs. This includes the delivery and distribution of non-food items, medical supplies, food and shelter assistance.

• Tropical Cyclone Megh has made landfall at Socotra, with high winds and heavy rainfall likely causing significant damage. The Cyclone is expected to make landfall on mainland Yemen on 11 November, with Abyan and Al Bayda the governorates most at risk.

Situation Overview

Local officials are still reporting that the number of casualties from the impact and aftermath of Cyclone Chapala is eight, including two children, all located in Hadramout governorate. A further 65 have been reported injured, the majority of whom are in the city of Mukalla. There are initial reports of significant damages to houses, with 44 severely damaged structures reported in Hadramout, over 170 in Socotra and over 400 in Shabwa, with some villages, such as Jilaa in Shabwah, seeing 150 houses, almost 80 per cent of its structures, affected. Damage has also been reported to some of the main roads in Hadramout, particularly into Al Mukalla and to telecommunication networks.

Whilst some of the telecommunication networks are starting to be repaired, a limited ability to contact local authorities and partners and a lack of access on some roads has made it difficult to gain a full picture of humanitarian needs and the extent of the damage.

However, local authorities and relief organizations in Shabwa are reporting a slight increase in the number of displaced families to 2,300. This includes 212 families displaced from Jilaa and 550 families from Bir Ali. Many of the displaced in Shabwa are living in makeshift shelters, staying with friends or relatives and some 44 families are sheltering in public buildings such as hospitals and schools. There are a reported 2,400 displaced families in Hadramout, 2, 000 in Socotra and 108 in Abyan.

People’s livelihoods in the affected governorates have been significantly affected, with 80 percent of districts in Hadramout and Socotra and 60 per cent in Shabwa, Al Mahra and Abyan seeing a loss of livestock and damage to crop production and fisheries.

The port of Mukalla is now reportedly operational, with a number of commercial shipments of fuel and food arriving yesterday and today.

Humanitarian Response

The UN and its partners have loaded 22 trucks in Sana’a and Aden, with a total of 236.9 MT of medical supplies and NFIs. Nine trucks will depart this evening from Sana’a, pending security clearances from local authorities, and 13 trucks are scheduled to leave Aden this evening with destination to Mukalla. The main roads for providing assistance to the affected areas are from Sana’a to Mukalla, via Marib, and from Aden to Mukalla. However, the security situation in Marib may impact access and there are reported damages to the road from Aden to Mukalla. A third alternative under consideration is bringing in assistance to the affected areas via Oman. Sea transport of goods is also being planned, with a boat scheduled to depart Djibouti to Aden on 10 November with 18.3 MT of medical supplies.

Water trucking of 30,000 liters a day is continuing to take place in Shabwa, providing for the needs of 2,000 people, and in Abyan, 8,000 liters are being provided on a daily basis. In Shabwa, 219 NFI kits have been distributed in the villages of Azan, Alhafa, Alsab'een and Ba'aram and 270 NFI kits in Jilaa. In Hadramout,112 households in Mayfah Hagir have received tents and 120 households have received NFI kits. Some damaged roads in Shabwa have also been repaired to facilitate the delivery of assistance.
A national immunization campaign will be launched on 9 November, targeting 337,665 children under five years in Shabwa, Mahra, Hadramout and Socotra. Local organizations in Hadramout are also providing medical supplies to health facilities and distributing mosquito nets and first aid kits.

Gulf countries have provided significant assistance to Socotra, with 17 cargo planes arriving over the last five days, 14 from Oman and three from United Arab Emirates. These have mainly provided food, in addition to NFIs and some medical supplies. The total cargo is reported to be 270 MT. The King Salman Centre has sent 15 trucks from Sharurah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) to Mukalla, carrying 800 tents and 20,800 blankets.

A United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team deployed to Muscat on 6 November, and are working on establishing systems for the possible delivery of assistance from Oman to Yemen. This will be closely coordinated with the Humanitarian Country Team in Yemen based on road access.

Tropical Cyclone Megh Tropical Cyclone Megh, another Arabian Sea tropical cyclone, is advancing towards Yemen and has made landfall on the island of Socotra on 8 November at 15.00. Megh is currently a Category 3 Cyclone, also known as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, with maximum sustained winds of between 178-208kmh. The storm is expected to weaken its intensity as it makes its way to mainland Yemen, towards Abyan governorate on 11 November.

Socotra has seen high winds and heavy rain, likely impacting the entire population of 58,680, many of whom have already been affected by the impact of Cyclone Chapala. Based on sustained wind speed estimate s, over 230,000 people on Yemen’s mainland will be exposed to 120km/h winds and heavy rainfall, with the governorates of Abyan and Al Bayda most at risk.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.