Almost a week after Cyclone “Mekunu” flooded the island of Socotra and parts of Yemen’s eastern mainland, initial indications are that food and WASH assistance remain critical priority needs. A UNOSAT rapid satellite assessment of the impact over Qalansiyah city shows that some areas along the wadis may be flooded and some roads potentially affected by water and mud as of 27 May.
Overall, the impact of the cyclone on the island and eastern mainland governorates is less severe than originally feared. However, some 120 fishing boats were reportedly lost to the cyclone, along with 500 fishing nets and some farmland. A search is ongoing for missing fishermen. The vessels that sank on 23 May were understood to be bringing stocks of supplies required to cover the monsoon season (June to August), when strong seasonal winds make shipping to the island difficult. Missions are planned in coming days to assess the impact of the cyclone on the population outside Hadibo. It is possible to access Qalansiyah and the Hadibo airport, but access to villages on the eastern and southern side of the island remains a challenge. There are concerns about the situation on the islands of Abd Al Quri and Samhah off the coast of Socotra, with no contact having been made with the 2,500 families living there since since the cyclone hit.
Implications on the humanitarian situation and response
• Initial findings by the inter-cluster technical assessment team that landed on the island on 29 May indicate that large parts of the food stocks on the island have been destroyed.
• Most of the 1,000 displaced households within the capital Hadibo are slowly making their way back to their homes, although many homes remain flooded. This could cause a health hazard in coming days due to the likelihood of water-borne diseases. A additionally, the water network is damaged and only one well is understood to be functional. Health facilities in Hadibo are functional.
• The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), through the King Salman Relief Centre has delivered four plane-loads of aid over the weekend, consisting of 1,881 food baskets, 350 blankets, 553 tents, and 98 carpets. A KSA reconstruction team is removing debris and clearing roads on Socotra to enable access to the populations in the eastern side of the island.
• The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has delivered 40 MT of aid supplies which have been mostly distributed in the city of Qalansiyah. The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has transferred 17 injured Yemenis to UAE hospitals for medical care.
• The UN is preparing to send in 15 MT of WFP emergency food supplies with a first rotation; two more rotations are scheduled this week to bring in UNICEF WASH supplies and UNHCR/IOM shelter and NFI kits. WHO is preparing to send in 30 MT of medical supplies in the next few days to boost the capacity of the health care system.
• The Logistics Cluster has secured warehousing for the stock in Hadibo, with the support of a WFP partner.
This is the last Flash Update on Cyclone Mekunu, unless the situation changes significantly
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.