8 dead as Cyclone Chapala wreaks havoc in Yemen

A US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration image showing Cyclone Chapala in the Gulf of Aden. About 3,000 families were displaced before the cyclone weakened on Wednesday.
A US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration image showing Cyclone Chapala in the Gulf of Aden. About 3,000 families were displaced before the cyclone weakened on Wednesday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

ADEN (Yemen) • A rare tropical cyclone killed eight people in south-eastern Yemen and wreaked havoc in parts of the war-torn country this week.

Five people drowned and three died when their homes collapsed in Hadramawt province between Tuesday and early Wednesday, before Cyclone Chapala eased into a depression, Mr Mohammed al-Amudi, from the province's technical affairs department, said on Thursday.

Forty people were also injured over the two days, and around 3,000 families were displaced during the cyclone, he said, adding that there was "massive destruction" of the province's infrastructure.

Cyclone Chapala weakened on Wednesday after making landfall a day earlier in mainland Yemen, triggering heavy flash floods after causing severe damage to the country's Arabian Sea island of Socotra. Weather returned 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 Mr Salem Zaher, mayor of the island's main district Hadibo. Socotra is 350km off the Yemeni mainland.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline '8 dead as Cyclone Chapala wreaks havoc in Yemen'. Print Edition | Subscribe