At least seven dead in Yemen flash floods
SANAA, April 21, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – At least seven people have been
killed and 85 injured in flash flooding in Yemen this month, the UN
said Tuesday, as the coronavirus threat also looms over the war-torn
Yemen announced its first case of COVID-19 on April 10, and aid
organisations have warned that its health system — all but collapsed
since a conflict between the government and Huthi rebels broke out in
2014 — is ill equipped to handle the crisis.
“Heavy rains and flooding across northern governorates, including
Marib, in mid-April led to casualties and damaged property and sites
for internally displaced persons,” the UN humanitarian coordination
agency OCHA said.
“Initial information indicated that seven people — five women and
two children — were killed in the flooding and another 85 people were
injured, including seven who were seriously injured and hospitalised.”
The rebel-held capital Sanaa and districts in the same governorate
“have been badly affected”, it added.
Storms also hit other provinces, including Ibb, Hajjah and Marib —
which is the government’s last northern stronghold and currently the
conflict’s “centre of gravity”.
The UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said last week
that progress was being made towards a ceasefire after calls for a
pause to face the coronavirus threat, although military activities
were continuing “on a number of fronts”.
An estimated 24 million Yemenis — more than 80 percent of the
population — depend on some form of humanitarian or protection
assistance for survival, according to the UN.
More than three million people are displaced, many in camps that are
especially vulnerable to disease.