Yemen floods Situation report No. 5 - 30 Oct 2008

Situation Report
Originally published

- No reported disease outbreaks.

- Death toll remains at least 180. Scores unaccounted for.

- Health coordination strengthening needed.

- WHO and OCHA officials to visit affected areas from 31 October.

- More rain forecasted.


- The death toll from the tropical storm and flooding that struck Hadramout and Al-Mahrah provinces on 23 October remains at least 180, based on statements by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation on 27 October. Scores of people remain unaccounted for.

- There have been no reports of any diseases outbreaks so far.

- Damage is extensive, especially in Hadramout, where most homes are built of mud bricks. Distribution of relief items by the Government and others is continuing. Forecasts predict more rain during the next 24 hours, particularly in the mountainous and western coastal areas.

- The Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP) operation room reported that heavy rain had been falling in five governorates (Hodeidah, Ibb, Hajah, Mahweet, Aden and Ibb) since the night of 29 October. The heaviest downpours were in Hodeidah and Ibb governorates. Two Hodeidah hospitals (Al-Thaura, which is the main public governorate hospital, and Al-Olafy) have been affected by rain and accumulation of water. Cleaning and water removal from these hospitals had started immediately and health authorities said the hospitals are operating normally and serving the public.

- A WHO member of a joint-UN team in Sayoun said relief items from various countries are being distributed. The joint UN assessment team met with Hadramout's governor and visited affected areas. The mission is scheduled to return to Sana'a 30 October and a debriefing on the UN joint mission's findings is scheduled for 1 November. The Minister of Public Health travelled to Sayoun on 30 October by a military helicopter to supervise the health sector relief activities.

- The Mukala-Sayoun road has been reopened following its closure due to the flooding.


- International assistance has been arriving in Yemen and more pledges have been made.

- An official newspaper report stated that the King of Saudi Arabia had pledged US$ 100 million for the flood victims. Further forms of assistance are reportedly coming from AGFUND (US$ 562 000), Organization of Islamic Conference (US$ 250 000), Al-Saleh Foundation (providing humanitarian assistance) and the Hail Said Group (US$ 1 million).


- WHO will be working with UN partners and local authorities in Hadramout to strengthen relief coordination and improve the handling of aid.

- Two Interagency Health Emergency Kits and one Diarrhoeal Diseases Kit are ready for shipment to Yemen with excellent and speedy action and support of Regional Office and headquarters. The flight carrying these kits departed Dubai on 30 October.

- On 25 October, WHO sent an Inter-Agency Diarrhoeal Disease Kit (IDDF), weighing two metric tons with medicine and medical supplies to the Al-Mahara governorate. This kit can benefit nearly 10 000 persons for three months. WHO is supporting the MoPHP to enhance disease surveillance systems, control of vector-borne diseases, and support a campaign to prevent communicable disease transmission. WHO is procuring seven metric tons of insecticides for the MoPHP to undertake an indoor residual spraying campaign for protection from malaria, dengue, leishmaniasis and other diseases.

- The UN Rapid Assessment Mission departed 30 October to the affected area with WHO, UNICEF, IOM, WFP and UNHCR participating.

- WHO Representative Dr. Ghulam Popal, and the UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Pratibha Mehta will visit the affected areas on 31 October.


- The Government has determined the following urgent priority needs for donors support:

- Health and environmental protection needs including prevention of infectious diseases

- Food

- Tents, blankets, utensils

- Water pumps

- Water purification equipment

- Mobile health units

- Electricity generators (70% of the population is without electricity)


For further information please contact:

WHO Yemen Country Office
Dr Ghulam Popal
WR Yemen
tel: +967 1 252213

WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean
Mr Altaf Musani
tel.: + (202) 26 76 50 25
mobile: + (201) 02 58 58 22

WHO headquarters
Mr Paul Garwood, Communications officer
Health Action in Crises
tel. +41 22 791 3462
mobile: +41 79 475 5546