Yemen: Cyclone Luban Flash Update #1 (15 October 2018) [EN/AR]
On 14 October, Tropical Cyclone “Luban” made landfall on the coast of Yemen. Although the Cyclone lost strength in the last hours and was downgraded to a Tropical Depression, it brought strong winds and heavy rain to the coastal districts of Al Maharah Governorate with widespread flooding and damages reported in many areas.
Preliminary reports from health authorities indicate that two people died and 33 have been injured so far, while the Emergency Operations Room report that more than 2,000 families have been significantly affected by flooding with many displaced to public buildings. Ninety per cent of the electricity grid in Al Ghaydah district and in some of the smaller towns along the coast is down and will need repair. The numbers of people displaced, killed and injured are expected to increase in the coming hours as rescue teams make their way further into affected areas. Six districts in Al Maharah (total population about 139,000 people) are affected: Al Ghaydah, Sayhut, Al Masilah, Qishn, Huswain and Al Hawf. The most affected are Al Ghaydah and Sayhut, which have a total population about 80,000 people.
Rescue operations and flight are complicated by flooded roads and bridges along the coastal road of Al Maharah, with movement reported as particularly difficult in the areas of Al Masilah, Sayhut, Qishn,
Huswain, Al Ghaydah and Hawf districts.
Governor declares affected coastal districts “disaster area”
The Governor of Al Maharah has declared the coastal districts a disaster area and the Minister of Local Administration has called on the UN and humanitarian organisations to assist and coordinate response with the local administration.
No reports of loss of life and damage have been received from the island of Socotra following the passage of the cyclone; families relocated as a precautionary measure are expected to return home. Tropical Depression “Luban” is expected to weaken further, with rains moving inland and westward towards the northern parts of Hadramaut Governorate.
Humanitarian partners are on the ground and coordinating with the Governorate Emergency Operations Room assessment teams to reach affected areas.
• Thanks to preparedness efforts put in place over the last few days, responders from both the local authority and the humanitarian community are assessing damages and providing relief to affected people.
Most of those affected by the rains (550 households) are in Al Ghaydah City and have been moved into temporary accommodation in schools where assistance can be provided; 100 families are already receiving meals from a humanitarian partner, Charitable Society for Social Welfare (CSSW).
• Assessment teams are trying to reach the towns of Nashtoon, Dabout and Al Abri along the coast where IOM have reported another 130 families have been displaced. Further assessment teams are being put in place by IOM as well as the NGOs Society for humanitarian Solidarity (SHS) and Humanitarian Aid Development (HAD) to support local authorities; Mercy Corps is due to move teams from their base in Mukalla (Hadramaut) to join the effort.
• Teams led by SHS have reached 83 displaced families in the Sayhut District, providing rapid response kits and have dispatched a mobile clinic. The kits are part of the stock prepositioned earlier. Another 450 kits are available in Mukalla. Further supplies have been called forward from the Shabwah and Aden stocks to meet any additional needs overcoming hours.
• As part of the earlier preparedness effort, WHO dispatched a trauma kit to the Al Maharah Central Hospital in Al Ghaydah. The hospital is fully functional but is reportedly facing challenges in treating the numbers of injured. The Yemen Red Crescent Society has activated its search and rescue teams to locate trapped families and is contributing to the reopening of roads.
• The King Salman Relief Centre has dispatched two trucks from warehouses in Aden carrying 100 tents, 1,500 blankets and 200 mattresses, and will coordinate distributions through its partner the Benevolent Coalition Foundation.
• UNICEF has agreed with health authorities in Al Maharah, to provide health and nutrition emergency services. It also maintains 2,400 basic health kits, 155 plastic water tanks (1,000 litres capacity) and 33 water tanks (2,000 litres capacity) in Mukalla.
• OCHA is in touch with the Emergency Operation Room in Al Maharah and in daily contact with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the High Relief Committee in Aden to support the coordination of the response.