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29 February 2024

Cyclone Chapala: 8 killed in southeastern Yemen


Eight people were killed in southeastern Yemen by a rare tropical cyclone that wreaked havoc in parts of the war-torn country this week, a local official said Thursday.

The deaths, five by drowning and three in collapsed homes, occurred in Hadramawt province between Tuesday and early Wednesday, before Cyclone Chapala eased into a depression, said Mohammed al-Amudi of the governorate's technical affairs department.

Forty people were also injured over the two days, Amudi said.

Around "3,000 families were displaced during the cyclone," he said, reporting "massive destruction" of the province's infrastructure.

Cyclone Chapala weakened Wednesday after making landfall Tuesday in mainland Yemen, triggering heavy flash floods after severely striking the country's Arabian Sea island of Socotra.

Weather was back to normal on Thursday.

More than 200 people were injured and dozens of houses and hamlets severely damaged or washed away when Chapala hit Socotra, according to Salem Zaher, mayor of the island's main district Hadibo.

Socotra is 350 kilometres (210 miles) off the Yemeni mainland.

The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has cited reports of three fatalities and 34 injured in Yemen due to the cyclone.

The UN said Tuesday that at least 1.1 million people, mainly in the provinces of Hadramawt and Shabwa, were expected to be affected by Chapala.