Yemen: Cyclones October - November 2019, Anticipatory short note - 29 October 2019

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Two cyclones may affect Yemen between 30 October and 8 November. The first, cyclone Kyarr, will likely weaken before passing Yemen on 2 November. The second (unnamed) cyclone, forecasted to make a landfall on 5 November, could be worse than cyclones in 2018 which displaced 17,000 people. Accurate projections about the impact will be available about 72 hours before landfall ( 2 November 2019).

Tropical cyclone Kyarr: Tropical cyclone Kyarr (Category 4/3) formed on 25 October. As of 29 October, it was heading to the east-central Arabian sea (longitude 63.2E and latitude 19.3N), northeast of Socotra. (ADAM 29/10/2019, PACA 28/10/2019). Cyclone Karr is unlikely to make landfall in Yemen (CAMA 29/10/2019). It is forecasted to continue weakening gradually while moving towards the Gulf of Aden. However, at least 60,000 people are likely to be exposed to tropical storm conditions (winds up to 150 km/h) on 2 November as storm travels past the south of Yemen and up the western coast, Al Hudaydah, and Hajjah in the coming week. (GDACS 29/10/2019).

Unnamed tropical cyclone forming off the coast of Sri Lanka: As of 29 October, a new low pressure area was forming to the southeast of Sri Lanka. It is likely to develop into a cyclone and gain intensity while progressing towards Yemen. This cyclone could make landfall on the southwest coast of Yemen around 5 November and progress towards central Yemen affecting Al Mahrah and Hadramaut. Heavy rainfall and strong winds are expected in the southwest, with lesser effects on central governorates.

Analysis: Cyclone Karr is unlikely to cause extensive damage, but it may cause flooding in IDP camps in coastal areas in Yemen. Detailed predictions will not be available for the second cyclone until 72 hours before landfall, 2 November. However, worst case, it could impact over 830,000 people in southern coastal areas of Yemen, with 68,000 people in Socotra most affected. Volatile winds and thunderstorms could casualties, displacement, and significant damage to homes and critical infrastructure. Al Mukalla port, (the main gateway for food, oil, and fuel deliveries to Hadramaut, Shabwah and Al Maharah) and Saiyun airport could also be disrupted. Access and assessment are likely to be restricted by port and road closures and debris.

Early estimates suggest the 5 November cyclone could be similar in scale to cyclones in 2018 which displaced 3,000 – 17,000 people, injured more than 100, killed several people and destroyed livestock, farmland, and property