Yemen

Yemen: Cyclones Chapala and Megh Flash Update 6 | 9 November 2015

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Key messages

 Tropical Cyclone Megh made landfall in Socotra Island on 8 November, killing six people and causing significant damage to houses, fisheries, livestock and critical infrastructure.

 The storm is currently making its way to mainland Yemen, east of Aden, and could potentially expose 630,000 people to flash flooding.

 A convoy of 11 trucks carrying 35 metric tons of non-food items has departed Aden for Al Mukalla to support the relief effort. Additional trucks are scheduled to depart Sana’a in the coming days and food, safe water, tents and other relief supplies have been distributed in the affected areas.

Situation Overview

Tropical Cyclone Megh passed over Socotra on 8 November at 12.00hrs local time. Local authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are currently assessing the scale of the damage and humanitarian needs. Initial reports suggest six people have been killed and 60 injured, with the storm causing significant damage. Many houses have been destroyed, there has been damage to fisheries, livestock and critical infrastructure, including the power station, and the island’s hospital, which currently houses displaced families affected by Cyclone Chapala, has been flooded. There is concern for people in remotes areas of Qalansiyah district where there have been reports of damage to whole villages, including in some on the smaller islands to the west of Socotra. The number of displaced in Socotra is likely to increase, as families living in coastal areas sought refuge inland from the storm. Some of the aid supplies that have arrived in Socotra over the last six days have reportedly been damaged by the Megh.

Cyclone Megh is currently a Category 2 Severe Cyclonic Storm, with wind speeds of approximately 150km/h, gusting to 180km/h. It is forecast to reduce in strength in the next 12 to 24 hours to a Category 1 Cyclone and is expected to make landfall on the Yemen mainland to the east of Aden at approximately 09:00hrs local time on Tuesday, 10 November. Based on estimates of the population exposed to floods over the last 25 years, in conjunction with the predicted path of Cyclone Megh, an estimated 630,000 people could be exposed to flash flooding.

The leading edge of the storm is likely to bring high winds, precipitation and a possible storm surge during the night of 9 November, which may affect relief convoy movements from Aden to Al Mukalla. Rough seas are currently forecast for the Gulf of Aden for the next 48 hours and may have an impact on humanitarian shipments from Djibouti to Aden. Worryingly, there are reports that a third storm is developing in the Arabian Sea that could also impact Yemen after Cyclone Megh.

On mainland Yemen, there have been additional reports of people injured by Cyclone Chapala, 60 in Al Mukalla and four in Al Maharah. There are also reports of significant humanitarian needs in the district of Mayfaa in Shabwah. Villages in Mayfaa saw heavy flooding, and 351 households are currently displaced in 11 collective centers, located in schools and other public buildings.

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