Yemen: Cyclones Kyarr and Maha - As of 1 November 2019 [EN/AR]

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 01 Nov 2019

Situation Overview

Two cyclones off the coast of Oman in the Arabian sea were expected to affect Yemen between 2 and 8 November.

• The first, Cyclone Kyarr, has weakened in the last hours and was downgraded to a “Depression”. However, it continues to move towards Socotra bringing strong winds and heavy rains to the island. At least 68,000 people are likely to be exposed to tropical storm conditions (winds up to 150 km/h) on 2 November.

• The second cyclone, “Maha”, is forecasted to move towards Oman and remain in the eastern part of the Arabian Sea before curving back towards India. Current projections show that it could possibly progress towards Al Mahara and Hadramaut at the end of the week. More accurate projections will become available by 2 November.

• Given potential access challenges, OCHA is engaging the Governor of Socotra to ensure access to the airport should the response require an airlift of relief supplies or the deployment of Inter-Cluster Working Group assessment teams.

• Overall, Shelter/NFI supplies remain the most pressing gap.
IOM is purchasing supplies (5,000 NFIs, 5,000 Shelter kits), which are expected to arrive in approximately 20 days in Aden. In addition, they have funds to provide cash assistance to 4,500 households (HH). UNHCR has indicated that 1,000 Shelter/NFI kits and 2,000 mosquito nets are currently in Aden and available to support affected families.

• In terms of WASH, UNICEF has hygiene kits and water tanks stock in Mukalla, Al Mahara and Socotra. In addition, a long-term agreement with a water trucking supplier is active and can provide water trucking, including in Socotra.
UNICEF has already pre-positioned fuel for the local water authority in Mukalla. Partners have been identified to conduct assessments.

• WFP has confirmed that there is an ongoing General Food Distribution (GFD) with stocks on the ground available for 700-800 HH in Socotra. An additional 400 MT (enough for 1,600 HH for three months) of supplies earmarked for the island is stuck in Mukalla due to adverse sea conditions. October GFDs are also ongoing in both Hadramaut and Al Mahara.

• With regard to health, WHO has provided essential drugs and trauma kits for the eastern governorates over the past two weeks. UNICEF supported health and nutrition supplies are available as well. UNICEF will provide support for fuel and incentives to run five ambulances in Al Mukalla.

• Sufficient RRM Kits are prepositioned in all three governorates.

Severe storms and high winds anticipated in Hudaydah and Hajjah on 3 November

• Between August and early October 2019, an estimated 30,000 families were already impacted by heavy rains and floods. An estimated 20 per cent among them are forecasted to be affected by the coming heavy rains and storms.

• In terms of preparedness and stocks, partners indicated that enough stocks are available to respond with additional Shelter/NFI kits being purchased.


In anticipation of the potential humanitarian impact of cyclones ‘Kyarr’ and ‘Maha’, humanitarian partners held ad-hoc meetings in both Hudaydah and Aden hubs to review contingency stock availability, strengthen coordination mechanisms, mobilize rapid assessment teams on the ground and assess overall preparedness including communications systems and alternatives, transportation, airports and flights, and in the case of Socotra, potential airlift options.

• At the national level, the Operations Center (OpsCen) is monitoring the situation on a daily basis and supporting partners to mobilize resources to expedite response to affected populations.

• In Aden, coordination arrangements with local authorities, the High Relief Committee and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation are ongoing.

• Emergency Operations Rooms have been activated in Socotra, Al Mahara and Hadramaut.

• OCHA is coordinating with the Logistics Cluster for potential airlift assets from Djibouti.

• The Emirates Red Crescent dispatched 20 trucks of food to the following rural locations: Nojod, Karra, Momei, Hallah,
Arsal, Gawaah, Soayeb, Kiksaam, Ghabtin, Darboko, Salalah, Maya, Nett and Karbah.

• Socotra Radio – C4D partner with frequency covering whole island along with the southern part of Al-Mahara Governorate has started broadcasting essential information related to preparedness efforts including shelters services available. 50 C4D Community volunteers, 20 community leaders are ready to support outreach efforts.

• Socotra Radio has been broadcasting information to the whole island and the southern part of Al Mahara governorate on emergency relief services put in place, including information on shelter services.

Preparedness & Stock Availability

Socotra preparations

• The Governor of Socotra has mobilized the Department of Civil Works and the Governmental Health Office (GHO) (overseeing the two main hospitals) to heighten the state of readiness. According to the Governor, there is a shortage of heavy equipment to remove debris and clear roads. The Governor is reaching out to the UAE on the island for support.

• Three NGOs have been identified to support rapid assessments (Socotra Development Organisation, Society for Humanitarian Solidarity (SHS) and Al Hikmah) but options are being looked at to widen the pool to ensure coverage of the most populated parts of the island, located on the northern side. Links are being made with UNICEF’s partner,
C4D, to tap into this resource to understand critical needs from communities on the island.

• Warehousing in Socotra is available with Humanitarian Aid and Development Organization and SHS, as well as possibly additional space via the Governor’s Office. Space may be available with a local partner.

• The Logistics Cluster is looking at the possibility of supporting an airlift to Socotra (as what was done during the May 2018 cyclone response). A Boeing 737 WFP chartered cargo plane based in Djibouti could be called upon. The cargo plane would pick up stock from Aden warehouses and fly to Hadiboh airport, Socotra. UNHAS and WFP are looking into landing, off-loading and warehousing options.

• UNHAS has been alerted of the possibility for a special flight to Socotra to deploy an inter cluster working group assessment team, led by OCHA, to support the Governor’s Office in the coordination of the response. The team is identified and the necessary documentation is being consolidated to expedite UNHAS paperwork.

• 50 C4D Community volunteers, 20 community leader and local tribes are on standby ready to support.

Pre-positioned stocks per governorate

  • With the exception of Shelter and NFI kits, emergency stocks are available in Aden to cover the projected gaps at governorate level in Hadramaut, Al Mahara and Socotra.
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