Sunday, November 08, 2015

Panic as cyclone Megh hits Yemen week after deadly weather

Cyclone Megh, which formed in the Arabian Sea earlier in the week, has hit Yemen's Socotra Island as it travels west towards the mainland.

Heavy winds and rain are currently battering Socotra, Al Jazeera weather presenter Steff Gaulter said on Sunday, as the cyclone brings further threats of flooding and landslides in an area usually bereft of rain.

"The storm strengthened significantly over the past 12 hours and now has sustained winds of 165 km/h, with gusts up to 200 km/h," she said.

"This makes it the equivalent of a major category three hurricane on the five point Saffir-Simpson scale which is used to rate the strength of hurricanes in the waters around the Americas.

"A storm of this strength is likely to cause widespread destruction, and is easily capable of damaging homes and snapping trees."

The US Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) predicts that Megh will continue its path west, making landfall somewhere between Aden and Mukalla on Tuesday.

Al Jazeera's Gaulter also said with winds of 200km/h, Megh is the equivalent of a category three hurricane and will cause "far worse damage" than Cyclone Chapala.

Chapala killed at least five people and caused widespread damage a week ago as it brushed past Socotra on a similar path from the Arabian Sea.

"The islands will also endure a sustained onslaught of rain," she said.

This, combined with a storm surge and ferocious waves, is likely to cause a major flooding issue.

"The damage caused by Megh is likely to be extensive, particularly for an island which has been hit by a similar cyclone less than a week ago," Gaulter added.

More than 50,000 people in Yemen, including about 18,000 on Socotra, were displaced because of Cyclone Chapala.

Yemen's fisheries minister Fahd Kavieen, who hails from Socotra himself, urged the United Nations and neighbouring Oman to "urgently intervene with emergency teams to save residents" on the island "which is now facing a cyclone stronger than Chapala," AFP reported.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that many will continue to be affected as Megh bears down on the country as it promised to "address urgent needs and will assess the need for further assistance".
Source: Al Jazeera


No comments:

Post a Comment

Only News

EL News

Blog Widget by LinkWithin