SANNA, Yemen (AP) — A tropical storm has battered eastern Yemen, with three days of heavy rainfall and flooding injuring dozens of people, destroying property and killing livestock, Yemeni officials and the United Nations said Tuesday.
They said that around 70 percent of the al-Mahra province has been affected by the storm, which formed as cyclone Luban but has been downgraded to a tropical storm. Two aircraft, one Yemeni and the other from the United Arab Emirates, are ferrying to safety residents stranded in the provincial capital, Gheita.
Yemeni officials earlier called for help to evacuate some 50 families stuck amid flooding and heavy rain in the area, describing the situation as “disastrous.”
Amin Hassan, a member of the provincial rescue committee, said hundreds of homes have either been destroyed or damaged and thousands of livestock have been swept away by flooding.
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Thousands headed to the mountains to escape, and power outages hit some areas.
In the Hadramawt province, heavy rains and floods injured at least 10 people and caused heavy damage, Gov. Farag Salmeen said Tuesday.
The United Nations said 33 people have been injured in al-Mahra and that a total of 2,000 families have been affected by the storm. It said coastal areas of the province were the hardest hit.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, added that humanitarian partners are already helping on the ground, but gave no details.
The storm touched down far from the front lines of Yemen’s civil war, in which a Saudi-led coalition has been battling Iran-aligned rebels since 2015.