Yemen

Yemen: Heavy Rains And Earthquakes Displace People In Ibb

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Ali Saeed

Published:14-10-2010

IBB, Oct. 11 - Mohammad Nu'man, 27, in Al-Makhadr district, Ibb, and his family were forced to leave their house due to repeated earthquakes and torrential rains, Mohammad told the Yemen Times.

Repeated earthquakes that started in mid-September and continued for 20 days have displaced around 50 families, the tribal leader Sheikh Salah Noman Al-Wesabi, in Al-Tilal village of Al-Makhadr district told the Yemen Times on the telephone. An average of seven to ten earthquakes per day shook the area during the 20 days, according to the local source.

One house was destroyed in Al-Tilal village and parts of other houses were cracked. Terrified citizens have camped outside the village, according to Al-Wesabi.

"We were terrified that our cracked houses may fall down on us as quakes were continuing," Mohammad said. He added that he and his family were forced to camp for ten days outside the village.

"We were cooking and doing all the household chores in the open and only sleeping in the tent as we had just one tent," he said.

The quakes have now stopped, but people are still in panic fearing that they might happen again. Locals in the village complained that the local council and the government did not take any action for the catastrophe that displaced them from their homes.

"We have contacted the local council in the district and the government in the governorate but there was no response," Mohammad said.

And even charitable organizations have not yet done anything toward the problem, according to Mohammad.

On the 20th of August, torrential rains fell down on the area and continued for more than one month. When the quakes started, a spring erupted inside one of the houses in the village, according to the local source.

The family who saw water coming out from the ground in their house was in panic and moved out to camp, according to the tribal leader.

The National Seismological Observatory Center in Dhamar reported to Saba News agency that the light quakes reached 3.5 on Richter scale.

Locals said that the center has placed a device in their village to measure the degree of the quakes.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Noman, professor of water resources management in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sana'a told the Yemen Times that it is difficult to predict any quake long ahead of time.

"It is only possible to forecast the quake with around ten minutes [warning] and that is a short time for people to evacuate," he said.

Similar quakes occurred around seven years ago, but the amount of damage was far less than this time, according to locals.

Mohammad requested that the government take care of people in his area who were victims of this catastrophe.

"A lot of people who were displaced from their houses now want to return home, but they have no money to fix their cracked houses," he said.